We've come to the end of the road.

I've shared our experience with pre-qualifications, house hunting, up-front costs, appraisals, and now it's time to talk about closing.

Step Five - Closing

Closing Day Diary
Closing day was set for May 12, but we didn't officially get the loan approved until a week or so before. There's still a lot of paperwork and processes that go on behind the scenes for an FHA loan, and even though we had submitted all our required documents (W-2s and tax returns from the past three years, bank statements, etc.), we still had to wait for everything to come together with the lending company. A couple days before, we finally got the real green light, and I realized I'd be attending the closing alone since J had to work.

I had no clue what to expect, but thankfully the helpful ladies from both my lending company and real estate office were all there for support. We encountered a few hiccups on the seller's end, so the whole process ended up taking about 1.5hrs. There's so much paperwork to sign! By the end of it, my hand was tired and sore, but when I finally walked out with the keys in hand... it was glorious.

The feeling of having a place to live, your own place to live, for longer than just the foreseeable future. 'Twas a beautiful feeling. All that was left to do was finish packing the apartment and prepare to officially move in on Memorial Day Weekend.

There are a few things that would've been nice to know before starting this whole journey:
  • Looking for a place is nowhere near as glamorous as it seems on House Hunters. Let go of that fantasy.
  • Good homes go FAST: if you find something you and your partner both love, jump on it and make an offer. Fast. If you don't some other lovely family or smart investor will.
  • There will be much uncertainty: you won't know if you'll find a place in time; you'll have no clue if deal breakers will be uncovered during the home inspection; appraisals are a big deal and can make or break your perfect home dreams. Learn to be okay with no knowing how the process will go from day to day. There's nothing you can really do about it.
  • It may seem like a lot of money is being drained from your bank account all at once, but when it's time for mortgage payments, and they're cheaper than what you used to pay for rent in a one bedroom apartment, it will be worth it.

And that's that! We've made some minor upgrades to the house (new flooring, fresh paint, soon a new roof), but i feel like making your house a home will always be an on-going process, and it's been super fulfilling so far. There's plenty more work to be done, and lots to learn in terms of landscaping and decor, but hallelujah we made it to the other side.

/end series ;)

Part one here
Part two here
Part three here
Part four here