Buying a home in Rhode IslandIn Rhode Island, a standard Realtor’s purchase and sales agreement is usually used when a home is sold. This document will contain all the terms and conditions, and the important dates which both buyer and seller will need in order to reach a deal. A property buyer in Rhode Island is not legally required to carry out a home inspection before the closing. But in many circumstances, it is better if you order one anyway — if only for peace of mind. An inspection could uncover issues that might cost thousands to fix if you have to cover them out of pocket. Don’t confuse a home inspection with an appraisal. The latter is intended to reveal only the market value of the home. And many appraisers won’t recognize defects in the structure or systems. Your lender will also insist that you take out a title insurance policy to protect yourself in case a title defect arises. Be aware that this covers only defects that were unknown on closing. If you fail to read your title disclosure and it contains known issues, you won’t be protected. A good attorney should undertake a thorough examination of the title before closing and tell you about issues. That involves making sure the seller of the home does indeed own the property, and also ensuring that there is nobody else who may later lay a claim to the ownership or use of the property. Additionally, there are some very specific environmental rules when it comes to buying a home in Rhode Island that go beyond the normal lead paint and sewage regulation common in most states. Some of these may influence closing. For instance, if it's required that proof is shown with respect to the removal and disposal of old oil tanks.
Refinancing a home in Rhode IslandRhode Islanders get some state-level consumer protection when refinancing, in the form of the Rhode Island Home Loan Protection Act. This applies if you’re refinancing within five years of your current mortgage being put in place. To be eligible for a refinance in those circumstances, your new loan must provide one or more of the following benefits:
- A lower monthly payment
- A shorter loan term (meaning you’ll pay off the house faster)
- A lower mortgage rate
- You’ll get cash out, in addition to closing costs and fees
- You’re switching from an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed-rate one