Understand What You're Signing

Signing off on your new home is exciting, but it's important to know the specifics.

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You're in the home stretch. Only a few papers stand between you and getting the keys to your first home. But don't get carried away. You may want to request, from your real estate agent or mortgage broker, a draft copy of any documents to preview before the actual closing date [source: Bray, Schroeder and Stewart]. This will take away some of those emotional jitters and also allow you a bit more time to make sense of what you're signing. Don't be shy -- if you don't understand something, then ask your personal team of professionals to explain further. Be especially careful with any numbers that might be on the forms. A couple of wrong keystrokes could mean trouble down the road.

To feel more confident in what they're signing, some buyers even hire a lawyer to represent their interests during a closing process and explain any legal jargon in layman's terms. Others bring along a parent or trusted friend who's already gone through a closing process, with them.

Buying a home is a big leap, but doing your research and involving the right people can make your home buying experience one that will soon have you saying "Home Sweet Home" with a smile.