Congratulations! You finally found the house of your
dreams. You made a bid, had it accepted by the
seller, and went through the
process. It looks like you'll qualify. The
closing is only weeks away, and you're feeling pretty
It's smooth sailing from here,
right? Probably, however, more than one buyer has
had the wind knocked out of his sails at some point in a
real estate transaction by the missteps described below.
If at all possible, steer clear of the following "NO-NO's"
until AFTER you have gone to settlement.
Do not take on new debt.
The temptation is strong. There are so many
big purchases that people want to make in connection
with a move: appliances, window treatments,
furniture, etc. When you add to this the fact
that, today, everyone offers easy terms and no money
down - well, why not just do it? Answer:
because you will change what the mortgage industry
calls your "debt-to-income ratios" (the relationship
of your income to your debt).
Do not change jobs.
If at all possible, try not to make a career move
during the time between your mortgage application
and the closing on the home you are purchasing.
But, you ask, "What if it's a BETTER job, for MORE
money, in a DIFFERENT field?" Still, try and
wait until AFTER closing. One of the factors
mortgage companies consider is length of present
employment; they are partial to stability. At
the very least, changing jobs initiates the need for
more paperwork, and may delay your closing.
Do not pack too soon.
Well, go ahead and pack your clothes and dishes.
But do not pack your bank statements, tax returns,
or other important paperwork. Most especially,
do not pack your checkbook! More than one
buyer has had closing delayed while a friend or
relative hurried over with additional funds because
the checkbook was in the moving van.
Do not lease a new car.
This should go under the general heading of "no new
debt". It is highlighted here because, for
some strange reason, many buyers do run right out
and lease a new car during the time between mortgage
application and closing! As with any debt,
this will change your "debt-to-income ratios" and
may cause you not to qualify for your mortgage.
In short, do nothing that
negatively impacts your ability to qualify for your
mortgage loan, or initiates a new round of paperwork.
If you have any doubts about doing something that may
affect your ability to qualify for your mortgage loan,
please consult your loan provider
before you do it.
These suggestions are merely that -
suggestions. No one is saying, flat out, that bad
things will necessarily follow, if you do any of the
above. They are offered as cautions. Many
buyers seem to view the mortgage application procedure
as static action, a snap shot of their financial lives
at a given moment in time. It's not. It's an
on-going process that takes into account everything you
do right up until the day of closing.