So You’ve Closed on Your Home — Now What?

Closing on a new home is a complex process that can involve a number of different steps and formalities.

In addition to making your own decisions and holding negotiations with a real estate agent and/or the existing homeowner, you may well need to have a lawyer present for the closing. This is generally recommended because it’s a good way of ensuring that all of the details are ironed out as expected. In some states, however, it is even required for a qualified legal professional to be present in a real estate transaction of this nature. This is essentially why there are expert legal professionals in the real estate space in the first place. People in this profession help to make sure the closing goes according to plan — which is useful and necessary, even if it can feel tedious in the moment.

These days, you may also need someone on hand who understands software, programming, and blockchain technology. Fortunately, while these skills used to be largely dedicated to specific roles and career paths, there are a lot more contracted software experts out there today. Constant growth in demand for relevant work has led to this being one of the main areas of study in part-time and online education, with the result that it’s not uncommon to find workers with online master’s degrees in software development and versatile skillsets to handle the work. The reason you may need just such an expert for a home closing is that these events are increasingly being driven by digital transactions and blockchain contracts. Those are broad topics for another day, but suffice to say the need may arise to design a blockchain contact and navigate some intricate digital dealings. If this is the case, a neutral software agent can be as helpful as a lawyer to have on hand.

These needs and processes can make the actual act of finally closing on a new home somewhat exhausting. Once it’s done, you’ll feel relief, a sense of accomplishment, and a need to take a break. At the same time though, there are some things you should go ahead and address soon after closing (aside from just moving in!). Consider the following to begin with.


File Away Documents

First and foremost — on the very day you close on your home — make sure you have any and all relevant documents clearly labeled and stored where you’ll always know where to find them. This will be a fairly easy process if you’ve taken advantage of HomeBinder’s home management platform, which exists in part to simplify the documentation of the home buying process. Through HomeBinder, you can add relevant documents associated with homeownership, including:

  • Mortgage, Financial, Title and insurance records
  • Home inspection reports
  • Appliance information
  • Warranties
  • Project and repairs
  • Paint colors by room
  • Other capital investments
  • Actionable and property specific maintenance reminders
  • Trusted network of home professionals
  • Document storage and so much more!

The hope is that no urgent need for documentation ever arises. However, you never know when they might come up, even if it’s not until you look to re-sell the home yourself. Just remember that it’s easy to lose track of home-related documents if they’re not properly stored right away, and save yourself the trouble!


Change the Locks

It may sound a little odd, or even somewhat melodramatic, but it’s common advice to change the locks once you buy and close on a new home. When you think about it, there are a lot of people who have access to your new property if you don’t! The outgoing homeowners will have their own keys, and may have given extras to friends, family, or neighbors. Additionally, the real estate agent and any involved attorneys may have been issued spares. In all likelihood you can trust these people, but it’s best to be safe and change the locks early on. Plus, there’s just something about this step that makes it feel even more like the home is really yours.


Update Your Address

This is more about making things convenient for yourself. But there’s something to be said for simply sitting down at your computer and updating your address everywhere you can think of. When you think about it, you probably have your (now prior) address saved in all kinds of places: with your bank, on random website accounts, on Amazon, and so on. If you set aside some time early on to make the update wherever you think to do so, you’ll be saving yourself some hassles down the road.


Review Insurance & Utility Costs

These are factors you’ll have considered during the negotiating and buying processes. Still, once you’ve closed on the home, it’s a good idea to review your home insurance policy, as well as what the utility bills look like in your new property. Make any necessary updates you may need to in terms of adjusting policies and setting up payments, and start off your time in your new home with all of these pesky details taken care of.


Consider Renovations

It’s also time after your closing to consider potential renovations or upgrades you may want to make to the property. Sure, you’ll have just wrapped up a long and arduous process, and home upgrades are a lot to take on. But if you do intend to make any renovations to your new property, it’s worth planning them right away. Use the “Projects” tab in your HomeBinder to keep track of your remodeling plans and the “Home Pros” section to plan and manage who will be working on them with you! This will make it easier for you to budget projects, arrange your home, and so on — all so that eventual renovations can happen as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.

Take on these early steps after closing on a new home, and you’ll be well on your way to making the transition.

Article written by Ruth Joyce

Exclusively for homebinder.com

How to Infiltrate and Retain the Millennial Market

The volume of millennials entering the homeownership market continues to grow.  With lower interest rates and increasing capacity to look at homes and apply for loans online, the industry has finally captured this demographics’ attention.  The question is now twofold…. How do you gain more of the millennial market share and more importantly, how do you hold onto this new generation of customers?

Millennials are unquestionably entering the world of homeownership later in life

To a lesser degree than any other demographic, they are likewise entering marriage and starting households at an older age. The Pew Research Center’s study from last year highlighted that only three out of every ten millennials between the ages of 23 and 38 lived with a spouse and child; the study’s definition of a family unit. The marriage rates for millennials averaged 44 percent, nearly 10 percent less than any other demographic for this age group, including Gen Xers. And although millennials are still of child-bearing age, the study noted that only 55 percent of millennial women have had children, compared to 62 percent of Gen Xers and 64 percent of Boomers of similar age.

Despite this latent desire to form households, millennials now make up a growing percentage of the mortgage market.  Millennials are reflected as the largest borrower segment in Freddie Mac’s recent article, “Homebuying: A Generational Snapshot.”  Closed purchase volume alone, as recorded on the Encompass platform, has increased for the past three consecutive months for millennial applicants between the ages of 22 and 41.  The average age of millennial borrowers has remained relatively unchanged. When targeting this generation the note that the average age for millennial borrowers was reported as 32.9, with May and April both reflecting an average borrower age of 32.4 years old.

The Freddie Mac Homebuyer Generational Snapshot highlighted that although they are the most educated generation, millennials have a lower financial awareness as compared to other demographics.  In general, millennials have a fairly optimistic outlook on life.  One of the primary contributors to millennial behavior is that they were raised for the most part during an economic boom.  This has contributed to a lack of financial wherewithal as they tend to focus on the purchasing experience versus monetary value. 

As lenders seek to attract and retain this generation, it is important to understand millennial values, which include transparency, accountability, persistence, and personal responsibility. Here are the HomeBinder TOP 5 traits to leverage when engaging millennials:

  1. Embrace personal responsibility – Millennials want to be good homeowners but often lack the experience and tools needed to address homeownership maintenance and repairs.
  2. Want a digital experience – For millennials that are typically not inclined to manage or retain paper documents, there is no replacement for ease of digital access to key information and documents with HomeBinder.
  3. Stress about personal financial status – Gaining understanding, organization and a homeownership game plan helps create and build confidence in overall financial health.
  4. Place trust in businesses – Let HomeBinder help you give millennials another reason to trust your company for the long haul, building rapport and engagement.
  5. Demand a meaningful customer experience – Millennials will even pay to expand service… Give them more than they’re asking for with a personal HomeBinder for their new or just refinanced home.

What’s important? 

Lenders should anticipate the needs of their millennial borrowers, instill confidence, give them control, provide alternative approaches to doing business, and incorporate digital innovation. HomeBinder is an innovative business differentiator that is uniquely positioned to help lenders capture the attention of millennial borrowers, establish rapport, and create long-term relationship value. Millennial borrowers appreciate an orchestrated, thoughtful, and personalized experience.  HomeBinder delivers a digital homeownership platform that embodies what’s important to millennials, offering relevant homeowner data, actions, education, and document access through a partnership branded binder. HomeBinder is relevant today, actionable tomorrow, and adds value throughout the life of the property.  To find out more about the HomeBinder revolutionary approach to millennial homeowner engagement and the “Client for Life” opportunity, visit us at www.homebinder.com, contact us directly at 800.377.6915, or Book a Demo today! 

HomeBinder ● Expected by Homeowners ● Driven by Lenders