On closing day, expect to sign a lot of documents and walk away with a big stack of papers. Here's a list of the most important documents you should file away for future reference.
- HUD-1 settlement statement. Itemizes all the costs — commissions, loan fees, points, and hazard insurance —associated with the closing. You'll need it for income tax purposes if you paid points.
- Truth in Lending statement. Summarizes the terms of your mortgage loan, including the annual percentage rate and recision period.
- Mortgage and note. Spell out the legal terms of your mortgage obligation and the agreed-upon repayment terms.
- Deed. Transfers ownership to you.
- Affidavits. Binding statements by either party. For example, the sellers will often sign an affidavit stating that they haven't incurred any liens.
- Riders. Amendments to the sales contract that affect your rights. Example: The sellers won't move out until two weeks after closing but will pay rent to the buyers during that period.
- Insurance policies. Provide a record and proof of your coverage.
Sources: Credit Union National Association; Mortgage Bankers Association; Home-Buyer's Guide (Real Estate Center at Texas A&M, 2000)