Albie Buys Her First Home: Appraisal and Closing

Join first-time homebuyer Albie Buabeng as she breaks down the details on her appraisal and closing.

Video Transcript

ALBIE: Hey, guys. It's Albie here. I am in the process of purchasing my very first home. I decided to share my journey so that while I'm learning, you guys can learn right along with me.

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We are getting ready to go through the final steps of actually purchasing the home. We've confirmed that we want to purchase it. And so now we're going to go into the appraisal and all of the steps that lead up to closing.

For this process, some people tend to use a lawyer. We decided we were not going to go forward with a lawyer. In this instance, our conversation has only been with our realtor, Jesse, as well as our lender and also the selling agent. And that is because we are pretty confident in what the appraisal is going to reveal. And there's no need, in our case, for us to bring in a lawyer to assess or to at least be part of this process. And so this extra voice just isn't necessary at all.

The appraisal is for the bank. Why the appraisal is really, really, really important is because it determines, ultimately, if the loan is going to go through. And part of that information will also let us know the actual value of the home, if it's worth more or less. If it's worth less, then the bank is not going to approve the amount that we have offered. So they will only approve up to the amount that they have deemed that it is worth. And therefore, the rest would either come from us out of pocket or then we would decide, OK, we don't want to move forward because we don't want to pay that difference, whatever it might be. If it's worth more than we've offered, then that's a win for us because then we would be going into the house with additional equity right out the gate.

Once through with the appraisal, essentially the bank saying, yes, we will pay for this loan because the house is worth it, we can actually go into the closing process, which is a really, really paper-intensive part of the process. So they're compiling all of the paperwork that we've provided, all of our finances, all of our credit information. They have the inspection report, the appraisal report, everything that our realtor has provided for us. Just all of it is being compiled into this file and reviewed, essentially to make sure that everyone involved in this process will be protected-- us as the buyers, the sellers, the lending bank, everyone involved, just to make sure they are protected and that in no way the money is going to be in jeopardy for this house.

Once the underwriter says yes, everything looks good, move forward, then the escrow company, again, independent third-party, they receive all of our documents, and they will call us to physically come in and sign everything related to the loan, related to the home, related to all the details. We're just waiting for everyone to say yes, you can move forward, so from loan originator to underwriter to escrow company to us actually signing and closing. And once that happens, then a call is made and the selling agent will then let their client know. Our realtor will let us know. And then we get our keys and we can officially be homeowners

One thing I wish we did differently was push back our moving date, the date that we gave our landlord. Naively, we chose a date based on what we thought would be a quick turnaround. And you know, obviously this was just based on the information that we had at the time of when we knew closing could ideally be done. And not that it can't be done within that timeframe, but giving our landlord a different date, however, would give us this buffer between moving out and moving in.

I have always been in the habit of having my moves overlap so that I'm not rushing through the process, so I can take my time getting everything packed, cleaning the new place, moving everything in the new place, cleaning up the old place, get all of those steps done without having to rush or having anything kind of slam up against one another.

So we are now officially homeowners and are currently in the process of turning this home into our home. So it is a 40-year-old ranch-style home. And it is exactly what we needed and wanted in terms of size, style, and just all of the things that I had listed at the very top of the series. So all of those prerequisites that we were looking for, this house fits the bill and then some.

The crazy thing about this house is that it isn't one that was on my list to even look at. But because my realtor was equipped with all of our wants and needs from the very beginning of us working together, she knew that this was a home we would love. And she was right. She came, she looked at it, and she encouraged us to come and look at it, and now it is ours.

I appreciate you guys for following along this entire homebuying journey because it wasn't easy. It wasn't as hard as we maybe anticipated, but it definitely wasn't easy. And we couldn't have done it without the preparation, without a team of experts in our corner, and without a lot of patience. And I hope this helps you on your homebuying journey. Bye.