Buying a Home – Part 1

Buying a home is an exciting time, but the homebuying process can also be complex. Many factors affect how long the purchasing process actually takes, but there are a few steps that are universal in most home purchases:

  • Decide if you’re ready: determine your financial readiness and become a good mortgage candidate.
  • Get a pre-approval letter and set your budget: a preapproval letter tells sellers that a lender believes you qualify for a specific mortgage, thus speaking to your buying power.
  • Decide on a property: A real estate professional can help you narrow down potential properties after you determine your budget and what you really want in a home.
  • Make an offer: Your budget isn’t just about price; you can also negotiate necessary repairs, which party pays for closing costs and other items.

Buying a Home – Part 2

You made an offer on a home and the seller has accepted. There are still some steps to complete before you can close the transaction and move in.

  • Sign a purchase agreement: Also called a sales contract, this document outlines the details of the sale and is held by your attorney or escrow officer until the transaction closes.
  • Inspect the home: You may wish to schedule a buyer’s home inspection, wherein you can get a professional opinion of the condition of the home.
  • Check repairs and prepare to close: A final walk-through of the home will help you make sure that agreed-upon repairs were made and other items in the purchase agreement were fulfilled.
  • Close the transaction: At closing, your lender may require you to purchase homeonwers insurance. This is also when you can purchase an owner’s policy of title insurance, which will help protect you from past issues that could affect your ownership rights.

What is Escrow – Part 1

Buying a home is an exciting event, but the process of completing that purchase can be complex. When you make an offer on a property and sign a sales agreement with the seller, the next step is to open an escrow account.This account keeps funds and paperwork in the care of a neutral third party – like an escrow or title company – until all the requirements of the sale have been met. Watch this video to learn more about the process, keeping in mind that many aspects of the escrow process vary depending on local customs.

What is Escrow – Part 2

To complete the purchase of your home, you’ll have a major role to play throughout the escrow process. Your escrow officer will be required to follow the closing instructions and meet the requirements outlined in the sales contract you and the seller previously signed. It’s important to direct any questions regarding the escrow process to your escrow officer, and any questions about your loan directly to your lender. Watch this video to learn more about closing your transaction. And congratulations on your new home!

What is Title Insurance?

So what exactly is ‘title insurance’? Well, when a property is financed, bought or sold, a record of that transaction is generally filed in public archives. Likewise, records of other events that may affect the ownership of a property, like liens or levies, are also archived. When you buy title insurance for your property, a title company searches these records to find – and remedy, if possible – several types of ownership issues. First, the title company searches public records to determine the property’s ownership status. After this search, the underwriter will determine the insurability of the title. Even the most skilled title professionals may not find all problems associated with a property, though. Some risks, such as title issues due to filing errors, forgeries, or undisclosed heirs, are difficult to identify. So after the title company finishes its searching, it also provides a title insurance policy that will help protect you from a variety of issues that might be uncovered later. If you take out a mortgage loan when you buy your property, your lender will require a loan policy of title insurance. This protects the lender’s interest in your property until your loan is paid off or refinanced. On the other hand, an owner’s policy of title insurance insures your ownership rights to the property. Even though you’ll pay for this policy only once, your coverage will last as long as you own your home. A real estate purchase may be the largest financial investment you ever make. So, when you buy an owner’s policy of title insurance, just think of it as buying some peace of mind!

How to Read a Commitment for Title Insurance

Once you’ve opened escrow on a property, you will receive a commitment for title insurance. This will describe the terms under which a title policy will be issued. The title commitment will include items such as the owner’s name, property legal description, any exceptions to the title policy and the requirements which must be completed before we can issue a title policy. One example of a requirement is the release of a deed of trust securing a loan. The loan must be paid in full in order to secure a release and issue a title policy. It is important to review your title commitment and understand any exceptions or exclusions from title policy. Your title representative or escrow officer can help you with any questions about your title commitment.

Common Title Problems

Have you ever wondered why you need title insurance? Title problems can surface after you close on your home and affect your homeownership rights. Some of the more common title problems include: Errors in public records, like a filing mistake or inaccuracy on a former deed Unknown liens resulting from unpaid debts of former owners Missing heirs who come forward years after the owner passes away and you’ve purchased the home Forgeries, like forged or falsified documents Survey or boundary issues that may affect your ownership and cause disputes Title professionals are skilled at identifying—and curing, if possible—these types of problems and countless others before you take ownership. Your title policy then serves to help protect you from those issues that may still remain undiscovered.

Texas Homestead Exemption

There are several exemptions that may be available to reduce a portion of your property taxes. The homestead exemption is one of these. A taxpayer is eligible to file a homestead exemption for his or her primary residence. The video will include important deadlines as well as documentation that will be required when you apply for the exemption. If you have any questions about the homestead exemption or other available exemptions, you can contact your local appraisal district. Contact information for appraisal districts can be found at *This video is specific to Texas

Closing Disclosure

The Closing Disclosure is also required by the CFPB. While your lender is charged with providing this document, it may assign that responsibility to your settlement or title company. You’ll receive your Closing Disclosure at least three business days prior to your transaction closing.

Loan Estimate

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, requires your lender to issue a Loan Estimate within three business days of receiving your mortgage application. The Loan Estimate details the terms of your loans along with estimated closing costs.

Amy Dower -Broker/Owner- TX Broker License #526743
Dower Real Estate, LLC. -TX LLC. Broker License #549111
8211 Purdue Drive, Tyler, TX 75703
Direct Contact- 512-507-5053
Email -