Are you getting married, AND buying a home in NC? Many people are looking at ways to incorporate these two big steps into a quick step in NC – and they are opting to get married and buy a house within weeks of each other.
Many times folks get a “picture” in their head of getting married, and coming home from the Honeymoon to their brand new house. We don’t generally recommend this process because getting married can often be an emotional and costly event.
We usually suggest that folks wait until AFTER they get married to begin buying a home… or we suggest that you buy a house 6 to 8 months BEFORE you get married. I think First Time Home Buyers are especially vulnerable to this “dream,” and that’s why we put together this list of when you should NOT buy a home!
Even if you’ve been married a few months, there are a few things you should know about how TITLE for the house is going to work.
Newlyweds, Buying A Home in NC How Title Works
We literally had someone contact us on Tuesday to say, “Great News! I got married this weekend! I’m getting my new driver’s license today – and I can forward that to you!”
Well Congratulations are in order ! But, you think you are closing on Friday! Guess what??? Because you didn’t TELL US to expect a name change, your approval, documents, etc. will all have to be changed – and that’s going to delay your closing date!
Closing day is the day when the keys are in your hands and the home officially becomes yours. It is usually 30 days or more after the contract has been signed. Your contract will typically reflect an anticipated closing date.
If you are using a USDA Home Loan and buying a home in North Carolina, the NC Underwriting Office is currently taking an EXTRA 2 weeks. This needs to be factored in as well!
At closing, the attorney delivers a closing statement or Closing Disclosure (CD) settlement statement to the buyer and seller, to sign. If you are married, you will be required, in NC to have your spouse sign the Deed.
So if you are buying a home by yourself – and you get married, your new spouse has to show up at closing, with a picture ID that shows them as married, at the closing. It doesn’t mean that they are obligated for the mortgage, only that they are now entitled to get an Equitable Distribution when you sell the home.
In North Carolina, attorneys are required to be used for real estate closings while other states allow title companies to perform this function. The closing Attorney will ask the buyer to sign the promissory note, promising to repay the purchase money loan as well as a security instrument (mortgage) which makes the property the security for the loan.
The big moment comes when the Closing Attorney asks the Seller to execute a deed to convey to the purchase “title” to the property. This means that you own the property!
When the documents are in order, you will pay the balance of the down payment, if any, and your share of the settlement costs. After closing, the Closing Attorney will record the deed and mortgage at the property records office of the local Courthouse. In most NC Counties, this means closing needs to happen before 3 pm to insure the documents are recorded the day of closing. When recorded, the deed will be mailed to you. The mortgage remains on record as a lien or claim against the home until your loan has been paid off.
Here are SOME of the ways you can “hold title” to a home in NC:
- A single individual who has not been legally married.
- An unmarried individual who was married and is now legally divorced.
- A married individual who is buying a home in his or her name alone. At the time of closing, the spouse of the buyer will be required to specifically disclaim or relinquish his or her right, title and interest to the property – we call this a “hold harmless” agreement. It’s normally used when someone is still in a separation process (in NC we require you to be Separated for 12 months before the divorce). If that’s the situation, we will have to see the recorded separation agreement, and the recorded SPECIFIC TO THIS PROPERTY hold harmless agreement. This is different from a QuitClaim to get OFF of a Deed.
The promissory note that you sign at the closing is a negotiable instrument. This means that the Bank may sell, assign or transfer it to another investor without prior notice to you. Such a sale would transfer the lender’s right to repayment of the loan and you might be advised of a change in the procedures to be followed in making your loan payments. Your rights and obligations remain unchanged, as are those of the loan holder.
At closing, you will also receive other important papers for your files. Items like the builder’s warranty (if you are buying a newly constructed house), receipts for the payments you make, a copy of the survey (if required) showing the boundaries of your property, and your copy of the closing statement are some of these.
In NC, we require title insurance and having an owner’s title policy gives you personal protection on your property.
Your closing statement or “CD” will show the amounts you owe for the down payment, if any, and for other closing costs, as well as amounts you have already paid – like an Appraisal fee, or a home inspection. We contact you before closing to go over the final documents and to be sure you know how much you will need to bring in certified funds.
If you are a First Time Home Buyer and want some one to help walk you through the process, and you want to know more about when you should apply for a mortgage when you are buying a home – give us a call! We love working with first time home buyers – and enjoy explaining all of the details of the transaction! Steve and Eleanor Thorne 919-649-5058 We have the BEST rates, and we do a TON of No Money Down, 100% loans!