4 Things You Shouldn’t Do When You’re Buying A Home

1. Don’t Make a Major Purchase
You’ve just found out your credit is A . That’s great news, because a new car would look fantastic in the driveway of your new home. But hang on–if you are depending on a mortgage to move in, you’d best wait until after closing to buy the car.

An increase in your debt to income ratio reduces the amount of monthly income available for your mortgage payment. If you tack on a higher car payment, the bank might decide you cannot afford the home.

Using cash to purchase the car could also create a problem, since banks consider cash reserves when approving your mortgage. If you make a major purchase before closing, talk to your loan officer before you do it.

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2. Don’t Change Jobs Unless It’s Necessary
Lenders like to see a consistent job history. They aren’t usually as nervous if you change jobs within the same field, but it’s better to stay put until the keys to the house are in your hand.

3. Don’t Give an Earnest Money Deposit Directly to a For Sale By Owner Seller
Your good faith deposit should go into a trust account. Some for sale by owner sellers don’t understand that funds are to be applied to your expenses at closing.

There are incidents about sellers who spent the deposit money prior to closing. When the transactions didn’t take place for valid reasons–such as financing or repair issues, the buyers had to fight for a refund.
Find an attorney or other neutral party who will hold the deposit for you until closing day and make sure your contract dictates what happens to the funds if the transaction doesn’t close.

4. Don’t Let Your Emotions Take Over
Keep a cool head during the entire home buying process, especially during and after an inspection. Be realistic. No home is perfect, especially older homes. It’s not unusual for new owners to take care of some repairs themselves. Don’t let the seller’s refusal to do a small repair kill the deal on a home you truly love.

On the other hand, don’t fall so much in love with the house that you’ll buy no matter what needs to be done–unless you’re absolutely sure you can handle it emotionally and financially. Decide what type of repairs you can realistically tackle, then stick with the decision.

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