The Do’s and Don’ts of Home Buying

There are several things that should be avoided before purchasing a home. If you aren’t careful to avoid these common mistakes, it is possible that your closing will be delayed or even canceled. Your adherence to the following rules will put the keys to the house in your hands quickly.

  1. Don’t damage your debt-to-income ratio by making a major purchase before closing. If you decide you can’t live without that brand new BMW, you might have to wait on owning a home. The bank could easily determine that your sky high car payment would hinder your ability to pay your mortgage. Wait until after you get the house to do some spending. No one expects a brand new house full of furniture and a sports car in the driveway unless you are a famous sports figure or Donald Trump.
  2. Don’t change jobs. The lenders like to see consistency versus constant job-hopping. If you are just miserable with your job, maybe you can switch to a different job within the same field. Or you can tough it out until you have the house and then start putting out resumes.
  3. Never let emotions guide you. Stay practical and realistic during the home buying process. Some sellers are willing to fix some of the problems with the home and others may not be as willing. Don’t let that refusal close the door on your dream home. Conversely, you shouldn’t let your loyalty to the home blind you to costly repairs down the road. You certainly don’t want to purchase a money pit.
  4. Don’t forego inspections to save a few dollars. Home inspectors and pest inspectors perform extensive examination of the property. Problems can be discovered before you close. If your potential new home gets a “clean bill of health”, the peace of mind that can bring you is well worth the inspection cost. You might also consider inspections for radon and/or well and septic.
  5. Secure hazard insurance. Talk to your insurance company right away because the lender will want to see proof of coverage for the new home at closing. Failing to line up the insurance will lead to delays in closing.
  6. Furthermore, don’t forget to have the utilities activated upon closing. The utility companies might need a few days to switch the service. Don’t forget to cancel the service at the old residence. That seems simple enough, yet many people forget this step entirely.
  7. If the appraisal comes in too low, don’t freak out. There are several solutions to this dilemma. The seller might be willing to come down on the price of the home. The buyer can put more money down if they are committed to that home. The buyer and seller can negotiate the deal or the appraisal can be disputed.
  8. Don’t forget to use your agent. It is the agent’s job to keep up with the daily details of the deal, including the lender, the seller, and the seller’s agent. It is also your agent’s responsibility to set up a final walk-through prior to closing.
  9. Lastly, don’t forget to take care of your end of the deal. You must be on the same page as the lender. Provide them with the paperwork they need and answer their questions in a timely manner. Failure to do so will keep you from opening the front door of your new home.

These are some of the most common mistakes home buyers make. Educating yourself about the process will ensure a smoother transaction and a definite housewarming party.

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