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Expect to receive a package in the mail (or email, if opted for) from the escrow company. While each escrow is unique, the opening document package for a typical escrow is likely to include:
– Escrow Holder Acknowledgment: Escrow acknowledges receipt of the Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions and agrees to perform the duties of Escrow Holder.
– Statement of Information: The title insurance company will make a thorough search of the public records along with an examination of the title to the property. The information you provide on the Statement of Information will be used to clear judgments and liens that do not directly affect you or the property. This information is confidential and will be used only to help the title company complete its work. Understanding Statement of Information – CLICK HERE
– Fire Insurance Information Form: Your lender will require you to set up a policy for hazard (or “homeowners” if occupying the home) insurance before your escrow closes. The information you supply on this form will tell your escrow officer which insurance agent you have chosen. Be sure to shop around for the best rates, usually, you can get a discount with your current auto insurance company.
IMPORTANT NOTE – Early on in the transaction, don’t forget to check in the Natural Hazard Disclosure Report if the property is located in a flooding zone, fire zone, dam inundation zone or earthquake fault zone – if it is, your lender may require extra and/or special insurance.
– Preliminary Change of Ownership Report: This report is used by the county assessor to determine the tax basis for your property. California’s Revenue and Taxation Code requires that this document be filed with every transfer of title, but the information on the form is not recorded or made a part of any public record.
– Vesting Worksheet: This worksheet instructs your escrow officer as to how you want to hold title to the property you are buying. It is a good idea to discuss your vesting with your tax advisor to be sure that your selection suits your financial and estate planning goals.