If you aren't careful, it's easy to make some major mistakes before purchasing a home that can delay or even cancel your closing on that home. So here are some tips on how to avoid common home buying mistakes that many people make.
Most people these days use financing to afford their home, and a very common mistake that is made by many home buyers is making a major purchase, such as a car, not long before trying to buy their new home. This may not sound like a problem initially, but lenders use something called the debt to income ratio to help determine whether or not you can actually afford a home that is in a certain price range. Unfortunately, by increasing your consumer debt for purchases like a car or some other installment payment, you only decrease the amount of house that you can buy through most lending institutions. So avoid this mistake and eliminate all major purchases as much as possible before purchasing a home.
Another common mistake is changing jobs just before buying a home. Again, lenders don't like to see this. They prefer instead to see consistency at the job, so do your best to stick it out at your job, at least until your home is bought and the papers are signed.
If you happen to be buying your home as a for sale by owner deal, a big mistake that you want to avoid is to be careful not to give any down payment money to the homeowner themselves before the transaction is actually completed. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous homeowners have taken the down payment money that they have received and spent it before the deal was closed. If for any reason the deal falls through, you can imagine how difficult it would be trying to get your money back in such a situation. The wise course of action is to put the down payment in a trust fund overseen by an attorney, so that access to the money cannot be gained by either party until either the house closes or the deal falls through.
Believe it or not, some home buyers actually forget to arrange to have their utilities activated in their new home before they move in. This can lead to some very uncomfortable days spent in your new home that are unnecessary. So make a note to yourself to both arrange for turning off utilities at your old residence, and getting them turned on in time at your new home.
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Having a good real estate agent to look out for your interests as you buy your new home is an important asset that you don't want to overlook either. It's their job to keep up with all the details of the deal from day-to-day, and keep everything moving smoothly on track toward closing. They can help shield you from much of the frustration and day-to-day angst associated with buying a new home.
Some home buyers fail to stay up with the requirements of the lender as the home progresses to closing too, and then find themselves way behind in the process at the very last minute. Sometimes this can lead to delay or even cancellation of the house closing, so take care of your end of the deal by staying on the same page as the lender all the way through the process.
The more education that you have about possible costly mistakes that could be made in buying a home, the more chance you have to keep the whole home buying process moving along smoothly and quickly toward a successful close.