Closing the DealAs I™ve written in previous blog posts, Julie Anne helped us find our new home, put in an offer and complete the home inspection. With those tasks checked off our list, all that was left to do was close on the house, get the keys and move right in!We had 45 days between the acceptance of the offer and the closing to complete the inspection and get our financing in order. We started working with a lender before we began looking so that when the time came to purchase, we™d have everything squared away. We opted to work with a mortgage broker rather than directly with a bank. Mortgage brokers basically do the shopping for you, finding a lender and then turning you over to them when the sale is complete. We had met with a couple of banks, but the broker was able to give us the best interest rate.We quickly learned that even though we™d done our homework, there was a long road ahead before we™d own our home. We filled out mountains of paperwork and went back and forth with our broker a number of times to complete the necessary steps. In fact, our closing ended up being delayed several days because our broker did not line up the paperwork properly.After a grueling process, the closing day was finally here! My husband and I were beyond excited, although a bit uneasy after the issues we™d had with our broker. We did have a good luck charm, though! My husband had gone out for Chinese food earlier in the week and received the following fortune: œNo obstacles will stand in your way this coming week. Because I™m a freelancer and had only been in business a short time, the loan was in his name only. So even though it was our house, he was the one signing our lives away, and I was basically there for moral support. After every few pages, I™d rub his hand so it wouldn™t get tired from all the signing.In Illinois, it™s not realtors, but lawyers who oversee the closing. When we arrived at the title company, our lawyer, whom we had only spoken with over the phone but not yet met in person, was there waiting for us. He was extremely friendly, knowledgeable and on top of things, so we knew we were in good hands. Julie Anne met us there shortly, as did the seller, his attorney and his realtor.The mountains of paperwork required by the loan were nothing compared to the closing documents! It took quite some time to sign everything and review each page, but eventually we were finished. We just had to wait for the title company to send the pages to the broker and finalize the deal.The six of us sat in that conference room for eons waiting to hear that we had closed! The seller had owned several properties in his lifetime, so my husband and I were the only newbies in the room. Finally, the title company representative came into the room and told us we were all set. My husband and I were expecting a big show of handing over the keys. Maybe the seller would pass them across the table or give them to us while shaking our hands. We waited, and waited, and all of a sudden, people were putting on their coats and leaving! We just kind of looked at each other and finally asked our lawyer and Julie Anne where the keys were. Turns out, the seller never passed them along! Julie ran out of the room and was able to catch the seller and his realtor before they drove away. We laugh about it now, but at the time we were afraid we wouldn™t get our house after all!It was a lengthy, stressful, tiring process, but in the end, my husband and I couldn™t be happier. We had some work done and moved in about a month later and are truly enjoying being first-time homeowners. We would absolutely recommend the Julie Anne Real Estate Team to anyone looking to buy or sell a home. Hopefully we won™t be again any time soon!
Debra Berkowitz McCraw is a freelance writer and editor based in the Chicagoland area. Learn more about her on her website, www.debrabmccraw.com.