he benefits of purchasing a home with cash are many, from the lack of interest payments to the ease of transfer. By avoiding the interest on a standard mortgage you can substantially reduce the overall cost of the house. The process of buying a home with cash is essentially the same as buying a home with a mortgage, minus the need to apply and be approved for a loan.
However, since you will be buying in a foreign jurisdiction, there are pitfalls and risks that you need to be aware of. This article will provide some advice on the process of purchasing a property with cash and a short checklist of “do’s and don’ts” in the closing process:
Make an offer
When you find the house you want, inform the owner that you will be making a cash purchase. Cash is preferred by many sellers, since the deal does not depend on a third-party loan that may or may not come through. A cash buyer is a serious buyer, and one who can follow through. Some buyers use this position of strength to work the price of the home a bit lower: sellers often prefer what they perceive as “a sure thing” at a slightly lower price than a deal that requires the buyer to obtain financing, even if that buyer offers the asking price.
Hire a closing/title firm (such as Secure Title) to assist you with the detailed process that is about to begin.
Review terms of earnest money contract to ensure you understand and agree with the terms.
Deposit earnest money ONLY with a known, reliable escrow firm.
Sign documents unless you are prepared to move forward with the purchase.
Sign documents without sound legal advice.
Deposit funds with real estate agents, attorneys representing the selling party or directly to the selling party.
Make a deal
Once you arrive at a price, it is time to inspect the property. Licensed, professional inspection services can do the job and leave little doubt about the exact state of the home and property around it. Once the inspectors have given the house their blessing, you can proceed with a fair amount of confidence that nothing is seriously wrong with the house. If the inspector discovers serious problems, you can still walk away from the deal, provided your approval of the inspection was a contingency of the contract you signed. If the inspector discovers minor problems but you still want the house, you can renegotiate the deal with the seller, either for repairs or for a lower price.
Ask lots of questions to ensure you understand the process that is taking place.
Ensure your title is clear and free of liens, foreclosure, overdue taxes or other attachments that can affect your ownership.
Request title insurance, if available.
Request title report in your preferred language to review with your closing attorney or title company representative.
When the inspection and all the other key homework —such as the title search— has been completed, all that’s left is the closing. When buying with cash, you have more flexibility in terms of closing, because you do not need to wait for a lender to schedule the date. You will have set a tentative closing date with the seller at the time you struck the deal, however. At closing, you or your assigned representative will need to sign documents at the Notary Public’s office and your purchase funds will be distributed to the selling party and other parties’ due funds from the transaction.
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