Do’s and Don’ts When Financing a Home

Do’s and Don’ts When Financing a Home

There are some do’s and don’ts when financing a home purchase that you’ll want to abide by to make the process as painless and simple as possible. Buying a home is not complicated if you have a great Realtor, a solid lender and a talented closing agent, but if you do a few unconscious things, it can be like being dragged over broken glass. Let me show you how to avoid that experience.

Don’t – Don’t do anything that will affect your credit report negatively.

Let’s start with the most common and most unconscious mistake home-buyers make. Do's and Don'ts When Financing a HomeDon’t charge anything, buy anything on credit or skip credit payments. That may sound like commonsense, but in the excitement of the moment, some home-buyers will go out and buy new furniture on credit. After all, the local furniture store is having a great sale that will be over before closing, right? Wrong!

Don’t do it. Just say no. Do whatever it takes to keep you from using credit, creating new accounts or expanding your current debt. Lenders will pull your credit when you start the process of buying a home. They will also pull it right before closing. If there are changes, it may, and probably will affect your ability to purchase a home.

Sadly, I just had a wonderful couple who finally found the right home. They could afford it, and it was in a great place. They wrote a solid offer, it was accepted, they were able to get some closing cost help and the seller was willing to do a number of home inspection repairs. Their first home purchase looked like it was finally going to happen. Then they bought a car. Their lender didn’t have the “don’t add debt” chat with them before the sought my help. They never mentioned it to me. I wish they had.

The car purchase torpedoed everything. They were declined their loan. They lost the money they had spent on the home inspection and appraisal and it could have been avoided. I like to say, “Freeze in place.” Financing a home has a very specific criteria that a home-buyer should adhere to, and if they don’t, they will fail like my clients.

Do – Pay your debts.

Pay your debts on time, every time. Pay off as many debts as possible and reasonable. Make sure you keep enough money in your accounts to close on your real estate purchase. This is not the time to play debt roulette. You can’t ignore any bill prior to the financing approval and closing. Stay on course

Don’t – Don’t move money around 

This is a new one for me. I recently had a client who regularly moved money between accounts. If one account had a boost of .25 % interest, the money would be moved there. In the same way, if another one went up .125% in a week, the money was moved there. If the rate dropped on one account, money was moved from that one and invested somewhere else.

In the case, the lender had a hard time keeping up with this buyer’s money. The rotating money wheel nearly caused the buyer to lose the home purchase. The money is there, somewhere, but the constant movement made lenders nervous.

Do – Freeze in place

This is another place where keeping things simple is critical. Don’t move money. Don’t make huge deposits unless you talk to your lender first. The lender will always want to know where the money is coming from. Is it borrowed from someone, or is it a gift? Is it from a closed insurance policy? Where is it coming from? Here again, freeze in place. Keep everything as simple as possible.

There are always things your lender will instruct you to do when you are financing a home. Make sure to listen and follow instructions. You don’t want to add unnecessary stress to your home purchase. Keep it simple.

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