home buyer's guide

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Resources for home buyers in Washington State

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  • 1Ticor Title Company MyTicor.com

  • 2Ticor Title Company MyTicor.com

    Table Of Contents

    Section Topic

    01 A letter from our president - Page 3

    02 Advantages of home ownership - Page 4

    03 The home buyer question and answer guide - Page 5

    04 The life of an escrow - Page 8

    05 The role of the title company - Page 9

    06 Common ways of holding title to real property - Page 10

    07 Domestic partnerships - Page 11

    08 The loan process - Page 12

    09 Customary costs, buyers and sellers - Page 13

    10 Moving day checklist - Page 14

    11 Escrow dictionary - Page 15

  • 3Ticor Title Company MyTicor.com

    A Letter 01 From the President

    Congratulations! Youve begun one of the most exciting quests of a lifetime: Achieving the home ownership dream!

    Ticor has been insuring the home ownership dream for over 120 years in the Pacific Northwest. We serve the Puget Sound region, with an operation spanning across King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. Ticor provides quality Title Insurance and Escrow Services, and chances are good that we have covered most of the neighborhoods you are considering right now.

    Clearly, there is more to the home-buying process than choosing your neighborhood! To help you, weve compiled information in the following pages which other clients have found useful over the years. Please enjoy this Buyers Guide. You might choose to take this resource with you as you search for your new home.

    We send you our best wishes for an outstanding outcome! And along the way, we hope that you will choose Ticor Title Company, as your Title Insurance and Escrow Services provider. Wed love to help you with your transaction.

    Best regards,

    Marci DrayPresident, County ManagerTicor Title Company1 (800) 215-8404www.myticor.com / www.ticorblog.com

    Section Topic

    01 A letter from our president - Page 3

    02 Advantages of home ownership - Page 4

    03 The home buyer question and answer guide - Page 5

    04 The life of an escrow - Page 8

    05 The role of the title company - Page 9

    06 Common ways of holding title to real property - Page 10

    07 Domestic partnerships - Page 11

    08 The loan process - Page 12

    09 Customary costs, buyers and sellers - Page 13

    10 Moving day checklist - Page 14

    11 Escrow dictionary - Page 15

  • 4Ticor Title Company MyTicor.com

    Advantages 02

    For many people, the motivation for home ownership is primarily financial. Owning your own home is a first-rate investment for a number of reasons:

    Scheduled Savings When you buy a house, mortgage payments serve as a type of scheduled savings plan. Over time, you accumulate equity, an ownership interest in the property that you can often borrow against or convert into cash by selling the house.

    Stable Housing Costs Rents typically increase year after year, while the principal and interest portion of most mortgage payments remain unchanged throughout the entire payment period.

    Increased Value Houses typically increase in value, or appreciate over time. The increased value is as good as money in the bank to the homeowner.

    Tax Benefits Interest paid on a home mortgage is usually

    deductible this is a tax advantage not available to renters.

    Financial Incentives

    Of Home Ownership

    A Place of Your OwnYour home is your castle, as the old saying goes. A home is a place to call your own. Perhaps you are ready to settle down and want the feeling of permanence and involvement that comes with owning your own home. Perhaps you need more living space. Or maybe you want more freedom than what is available in a rental unit, to adapt your living space to your needs.

  • 5Ticor Title Company MyTicor.com

    The Home Buyer

    What is an Escrow?Buyers and sellers of a piece of property establish terms and conditions for the transfer of ownership of the property. These terms and conditions are given to a third party known as the escrow holder. In turn, the escrow holder has the responsibility of seeing that terms of the escrow are carried out. The escrow is an independent neutral account and the vehicle by which the mutual instructions of all parties to the transaction are complied.

    How does the escrow process work?

    The escrow is a depository for all monies, instructions and documents necessary for the purchase of your home, including your funds for down payment and your lenders funds and documents for the new loan. Generally, the buyer deposits a down payment with the escrow holder, and the seller deposits the deed and any other necessary documents with the escrow holder.

    Prior to the close of escrow, the buyer deposits the balance of the funds required and agreed upon by the parties with the escrow holder. The buyer instructs the escrow holder to deliver the monies to the seller when the escrow holder:

    Forwards the deed to the title company for recording

    Is notified by the title company that a policy of title insurance can be issued that shows title to the property is vested in the name of the buyer.

    The escrow holder thus acts for both parties and protects the interests of each within the authority of the escrow instructions. Escrow cannot be completed until the terms and conditions of the instructions have been satisfied, and all parties have signed escrow documents. The escrow holder takes instructions based on the terms of the purchase agreement and the lenders requirements.

    How do I open an escrow?

    Your real estate agent will open the escrow for you. As soon as you execute your purchase agreement, your agent will place your initial deposit into an escrow account with a closing company such as Ticor Title Company.

    Your purchase agreement represents your written statement to the escrow holder. This agreement is provided to the closing, or escrow, company, in writing. Changes to this agreement are also provided in writing to all parties.

    How will I know where my money has gone?

    Written evidence of your deposit is generally included in your copy of the purchase agreement. Your funds will then be deposited in a separate escrow or trust account and processed through a local bank. It is customary for you to receive a receipt for this deposit.

    Question and Answer Guide03

  • 6Ticor Title Company MyTicor.com

    What information will I have to provide?

    Confidential Statement of Identity You will be asked to complete a Confidential Statement of Identity as part of the necessary paperwork. This is used to identify the specific person in the transaction through their date of birth, social security number, etc.

    Lender Information Provide the escrow holder with your lender contact information as soon as possible.

    Hazard/Fire Insurance Information Be sure to order your fire/hazard insurance once your loan is approved. Call your escrow holder with the insurance agents name and phone number so that they can make sure the policy complies with your lenders requirements.

    Title to Home Decide how you wish to hold title to your home (also called vesting). See the chart in section 7 of this booklet for guidance. The escrow holder will need this information in order to prepare the statutory warranty deed. We suggest that you consult an attorney, tax consultant, or other qualified professional before you decide.

    When do I sign the loan documents?

    You will be contacted to set an appointment to sign the final loan and closing papers. At this time, the escrow holder will also tell you the amount of money you will need (in addition to your loan funds) to purchase your new home. The lender will send your loan funds directly to the escrow holder.

    What do I need before my appointment to sign loan documents?

    Cashiers check Obtain a cashiers check made payable to your escrow company in the amount indicated to you by the escrow officer.

    Lenders requirements Make sure you are aware of your lenders requirements and that you have satisfied these requirements before you come to the escrow company to sign your papers. Your loan officer or real estate agent can help you.

    Identification You will need a valid state identification card, drivers license, or passport in order for the notary public to verify your identity.

    When will I receive the deed?

    The original deed to your home will be mailed directly to you at your new home by the county recorders office. It may take several weeks, perhaps longer, depending on the county recorders volume.

    Whats the next step after Ive signed the closing documents?

    The escrow holder will return the documents to the lender for final review. This review usually occurs within a few days. After the review is completed, the lender is ready to fund your loan and informs the escrow holder.

    How long is an escrow?

    The length of an escrow is determined by the terms of the purchase agreement and can range from a few days to several months.

    03

  • 7Ticor Title Company MyTicor.com

    How does the loan process work?

    As a buyer, you will choose your lender. The lender might be a bank, savings and loan, or

    a mortgage company. You will be required to complete a loan application, and provide personal and financial information.

    What happens after I submit the loan application?

    The lender will begin the qualification process, including verification of information submitted on the application and appraisal of the property.

    Additional information:

    The lender will require that you obtain fire/hazard insurance if you are purchasing a detached home.

    A condo or townhouse may already have a ma