What are you signing?

Q.  How many papers does it take to buy a house in Southern California?  (This isn’t a joke, but it starts out sounding like one, right?) 

A.  Today in California, the following documents are almost always included in a “normal” purchase of a home :

  • Purchase Offer – 8 pages
  • Buyer’s Advisory to have Inspection – 2 pages
  • Counter Offer – 1 page
  • Agency Disclosure – 1 page
  • Market Conditions Advisory – 1 page
  • Notice of Supplemental Property Tax Bill – 1 page
  • Transfer Disclosure Statement – 3 pages
  • Water Heater & Smoke Detector Statement – 1 page
  • Lead Paint Addendum* – 2 pages
  • Repair Request – 1 pages
  • Removal of Contingencies – 1 page
  • Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory – 10 pages
  • Supplemental Statutory Disclosures – 1 page
  • Wood Destroying Pest Inspection – 1 pages
  • Verification of Property Condition – 1 page
  • Seller Property Questionaire – 3 pages
  • Contingency of Sale Addendum* – 1 page
  • Notice to Seller to Perform* – 1 page
  • Purchase Agreement Addendum* – 1 page

* Not always required, but often used.

In addition to the above contract forms, there are additional escrow instructions, inspection reports, natural hazard disclosure reports, local area disclosures, escrow amendments, Preliminary Title Report, HOA disclosures, CC&Rs, Bylaws & Budgets, home warranty contracts, and probably more that are being invented while I write this! 

By the time you get around to signing the loan documents, most buyers are totally exhausted and numb to the process and willing to sign almost anything without reading it.  Don’t!  For almost everything you sign, you are agreeing to live with the consequences!  One of the biggest problems with all the bad loans that buyers used in the last few years is that the buyers didn’t fully understand, or take the time to read the terms that they were agreeing to!  My friend, Morgan Brown, a mortgage professional in Irvine, has written a good blog about this.  Read his article here.


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