So the closing is done. Congratulations the White Lake home is yours. So what now?
One of the first things I recommend to do is change the locks and any codes to get into the house. Sure the seller gave you all the keys they had, but what about their baby sitter’s key, the house cleaners key, the key they gave the neighbor, brother, or mother. There could be so many house keys out there that you do not know about. For you and your families protection either change out the locks or have a locksmith come out and rekey all the doors. It is just about the same price to have a lock smith come out to rekey them as it is to put on new door knobs. I myself go for the new door knobs.
The second order of business is the two papers the title company gave you to take to the city. You have the property transfer affidavit and the homestead exemption form you need to take into your new communities assessing department. Usually the title company gives you two copies of each of the forms. When you drop the form off at the assessors office be sure to have them date stamp the other copy. Keep that copy for your records. That way you have proof you have dropped it off. It is very important that you drop these forms off. If you take too long they can penalize you for the lateness of $5 a day. It can be even worse. I have had clients call me a year later and say their taxes have gone way up. The reason why they went way up is because they never filed the homestead exemption form. Their taxes went up 30%! So do not delay. That is not a mistake you want to make. Go file your homestead exemption and your property transfer affidavit right away!
Of course you are going to be moving, painting, cleaning, and fixing up your new home. Remember your home does not have to be perfect right away. Try not to bury yourself in debt by buying new furniture, new carpeting, and other items for the house by putting it all on credit cards. I have had a few clients do that only to have to file bankruptcy a few years later because they were buried in debt.
Your first payment will be anywhere from 25 days from the date of closing to over 50 days from date of closing. Remember to save for all your bills. Your utilities, and house payment will come at the same time. So be prepared.
I hope you enjoy your new White Lake home and it brings you many wonderful memories. Hopefully this series of Russ Ravary’s home buyer tips has helped you through the home buyer process and helped make your home buying experience smoother. Good luck until we meet again.
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