Close It!™ House of the Week: Just listed in the West End

This week we're headed down Wisconsin Avenue from our own office to check out a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom high rise condo with an open floor plan and nearly 1200 square feet of space. It's listed at $929,000.

This unit has an oversized balcony with southern views. It has a gas fireplace as well as a kitchen will granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. The building is located just north of the George Washington Hospital and west of the shops and restaurants in Georgetown.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $214,148.73. Monthly payments will then be around $5,725.66 per month, including the HOA payment. For a complete picture of the cash to close, or for a run-down of the seller's side of the deal, plug the numbers into the Web version of Close It™ or download the free iOS app.

Headlines: The studio stigma; top DC suburbs for young workers

Here is a look at what's happening in real estate in and around the District of Columbia.

What you should know before buying a newly constructed home

Plan the details of your new home’s infrastructure and finishes, allocate your budget for the features and amenities that will make it uniquely yours, and monitor its construction with a builder who stands behind their work. -Washington Post

Title insurance: A friend in deed

After a house goes into contract, a title company searches public records, typically going back a number of years, to look for any problems with the home’s title. More than a third of all title searches reveal a problem, according to the American Land Title Association (ALTA). -Wall Street Journal

The studio stigma

Those who live in studios are staying in them longer and learning to make their peace with it and those newly entering the market, regardless of their age and status, are becoming more open to the idea of living in a studio. -New York Observer

10 best DC suburbs for young professionals

So, you're in your 20s and have a great job. The next question is: Where do you want to live? If big-city life isn't for you, there are plenty of suburban offerings surrounding the District. -Washington Business Journal

The essential guide to being an amateur landord in DC

We recommend consulting directly with DC’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) if you’re confused or unsure whether your unit needs a particular certification. -Urban Turf

Top 10 things real estate agents should know about the new TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures

Top 10 things real estate agents should know about the new TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures
Editor's note: The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a statement announcing a delay in the implementation of the new TILA-RESPA integrated disclosures until October 1, 2015.
Big changes are on the way that will impact real estate agents, lenders, buyers and sellers alike. The HUD-1 is out come August 1, and the Closing Disclosure form (CDF) is in. 

A new form inevitably means new procedures and deadlines to observe, which is why we've put together this list of things we think are most important to know about the new regulations. 

1.  The lender – not the settlement agent – will in most cases be preparing and delivering the CDF, which will be used to most loan applications taken for new mortgages after August 1, 2015.

2. The CDF must be delivered to the buyer/consumer at least three business days prior to the scheduled closing date.

3. The settlement agent must deliver information to the lender approximately 10 to 14 days prior to the closing date for completion of CDF to meet the delivery requirement. 

• You will need to communicate to the closing agent all your buyer charges and credits 10 to 14 days prior to the closing date. (Federal Title has simplified this communication by emailing you and your homebuyer a link to an easy-to-complete online form as soon as we receive the new transaction order.)

4. The settlement agent will need your real estate broker’s state license number and your individual real estate license number for the new CDF.

• Federal Title stores license numbers for most brokers and agents in their respective profiles within our WorkFlow system, saving agents time and effort involved in communicating this information each time Federal Title receives a new transaction order.

5. The CDF sent to the buyer/consumer won’t include the seller’s side of the transaction. 

• The settlement agent (not the lender) is responsible for completing and delivering the seller’s side of the CDF. (Federal Title will prepare and deliver a separate CDF and/or settlement statement to the seller well in advance of the closing date.)

6. You likely won't receive an advance copy of the CDF from the lender before it’s delivered to the buyer/consumer. 

• The lender will likely send the CDF to the settlement agent when it’s sent to the buyer/consumer.

• The settlement agent will probably not be permitted to send a copy to real estate agents; you will need to obtain a copy from the borrower.

7. Changes to the CDF after delivery to the buyer/consumer MAY trigger a new three-day waiting period if changes cause the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) to be inaccurate, the buyer changes loan product or a prepayment penalty is added.

• Changes and adjustments affecting the value of the property (as determined by the lender) may trigger additional disclosure and review periods under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) controlling the delivery of the appraisals.

• You may want to consider two pre-settlement inspections or walk-throughs (e.g., first inspection 7 to 10 days in advance of closing and a second inspection on the day of the closing).

8. Review and become familiar with the CDF so that you can answer buyer and seller questions. Note the CDF refers to Owner’s Title Insurance as optional in some circumstances. Obtain appropriate advice for the buyer/consumer on the protections given to them through owner’s title insurance.

• Federal Title’s Close It! calculator application is a perfect resource for gaining familiarity with the new CDF.

• Please point your prospective homebuyers toward Federal Title's articles on title insurance and title claims. share Federal Title’s Guide to Owner’s Title Insurance with prospective home buyers.

9. The new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules may affect the contract terms that you help negotiate for either the buyer or the seller. It’s important to communicate with the lender and closing agent to determine a realistic time frame for closings under these new rules.

• For example, a closing 20 days out or less may no longer be realistic.

• When specifying the closing date, take additional time into consideration.

10. What system do you have in place to communicate changes to the contract (after it’s been signed) to the lender? Consider having a conversation with buyers about the high importance of timely responses to lender requests, and remind sellers they must follow the contract to the letter because not doing so may delay the closing.

Close It!™ House of the Week: A Chevy Chase charmer with so much character

This week we're taking a look at a nearly century-old home that's had much of its original character preserved by the current owner/architect. It's listed at $949,900.

Exposed wood beams on the ceilings along with the refinished original hardwood floor and a large utility sink preserve the sense of country farm kitchen from a simpler time, while high end kitchen appliances make modern, gourmet cooking a breeze. The house also has a large back yard for entertaining as well as a front porch and patio for relaxing during the warmer months. 

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $217,188.81. Monthly payments will then be around $4,216.39 per month. For a complete picture of the cash to close, or for a run-down of the seller's side of the deal, plug the numbers into the Web version of Close It™ or download the free iOS app.

Headlines: 11th Street Bridge project to launch major capital campaign

Here is a look at what's happening in real estate in and around the District of Columbia.

Expect to see more transit-oriented housing in the future

Transit-oriented development is driven in part by real estate market forces and changing demographics. Studies show  that single-person households are now the most common household type, and that young adults as well as seniors prefer living in pedestrian-oriented, urban-style communities served by transit. -Washington Post

DC files suit against Virginia couple over shoddy home renovations

The attorney general's office launched an investigation late last year, shortly after Hofgard signed an agreement with the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs not to sell any more properties that had code violations. -WAMU

DC park aims to beat gentrification where others have failed

The project, which is getting half of its construction money from D.C. and will launch a major capital campaign this year, spans two areas with very different economic realities: the tonier Ward 6 neighborhoods of Capitol Hill and the Navy Yard neighborhoods to the northwest and the Ward 8 neighborhoods of Anacostia and Fairlawn to the southeast. -Next City

Here's where the largest Whole Foods Market in the region is going

The first phase of The Boro, a massive project that has not yet earned Fairfax County’s approval, is expected to deliver in 2018. It will feature the largest Whole Foods in the D.C. area, and one of the largest in the Mid-Atlantic, a Whole Foods spokeswoman confirmed. -Washington Business Journal

Half of DC couples filing income taxes separately had large income disparities

Couples who together earned between $100,000 and $350,000 a year had a less striking income differential, though the blog District Measured notes that 40 percent of people in that bracket still showed an income differential of 50 percent or more. -Urban Turf

  • Ways to save at closing

    Title charges are the largest chunk of closing costs and can vary by hundreds of dollars.

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  • What are closing costs?

    The real estate closing process involves loan steps, legal steps and title steps.

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  • What's title insurance?

    Insure your legal ownership just like you'd insure the building, but for lots cheaper.

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Our blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. Rate tables and figures that appear on our blog are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For current rates & policies, refer to our Quick Quote and Consumer Guide. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on our blog.