Buying a new home is an exciting time for anyone. It’s also very easy to get caught up in that excitement and forget some of the things you really shouldn’t do when you are navigating through the home buying process. A few of the major no-no’s are listed below.
NO MAJOR PURCHASE OF ANY KIND
When you get a raise or accumulate some savings, you may find yourself confronted by an innate instinct of modern civilized men and women.
The desire to spend money.
It begins simply, by going out to restaurants, then accelerates to purchasing clothing, electronic gadgets, and since North Americans have a special fondness for the automobile, you may even buy a “brand new car.”
If you’re married or ambitious, a few months later your thoughts eventually turn toward buying your own home. Or a move-up home, if you are already a homeowner.
Next, you contact a loan officer to get prequalified for a mortgage loan. You state your desired price and how much you can put down. You provide your income and may even supply pay stubs and W2 forms. The loan officer methodically crunches the numbers (by telephone, in person, or even over the internet).
“If only you didn’t have this car payment...” Apply this thinking to any major purchase that would create debt of any kind. This includes furniture, appliances, electronic equipment, jewelry, vacations, expensive weddings… …and automobiles, of course.
DON’T MOVE MONEY AROUND
When a lender reviews your loan package for approval, one of the things they are concerned about is the source of funds for your down payment and closing costs. Most likely, you will be asked to provide statements for the last two or three months on any of your liquid assets. This includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market funds, certificates of deposit, stock statements, mutual funds, and even your company 401K and retirement accounts.
If you have been moving money between accounts during that time, there may be large deposits and withdrawals in some of them.
The mortgage underwriter (the person who actually approves your loan) will probably require a complete paper trail of all the withdrawals and deposits. You may be required to produce cancelled checks, deposit receipts, and other seemingly inconsequential data, which could get quite tedious.
Perhaps you become exasperated at your lender, but they are only doing their job correctly. To ensure quality control and eliminate potential fraud, it is a requirement on most loans to completely document the source of all funds. Moving your money around, even if you are consolidating your funds to make it “easier,” could make it more difficult for the lender to properly document.
So leave your money where it is until you talk to a loan officer.
Oh…don’t change banks, either.
DON’T CHANGE YOUR JOB
For most people, changing employers will not really affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan, especially if you are going to be earning more money. For some homebuyers, however, the effects of changing jobs can be disastrous to your loan application.
Steve Amos is a freelance writer.
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