When you plan a trip, you most likely spend time researching your destination, your method of transportation, where you’ll stay, any local events you might be interested in, the best places for a dinner out or a glass of wine. If you’re traveling with family or with kids, you’ll spend time finding special interests and activities for them. You might price shop hotels or plane tickets. You might map out different roads. However you get there, the point is, you put a lot of time, energy, and money into planning your trip so that it goes off without a hitch; so that you can truly enjoy the experience of traveling.
The home loan process is no different really and deserves an equal amount of time and attention invested to ensure you can fully enjoy the process of shopping for and finally moving into your new home. Securing a mortgage loan so that you can buy a home doesn’t have to be stressful. To help you through the mortgage process, use this quick-reference list of Do’s and Don’t’s to follow when applying for a mortgage:
- Provide all documentation for the sale, including sales contract, closing statement, employer relocation/buy-out program (if applicable) to your mortgage professional.
- Keep all original documents organized, and have access to all of your pay-stubs, bank statements, and other important financial documents.
- Keep an eye on your credit report. Learn more about how your credit report can impact mortgage rate.
- Provide your earnest money deposit from your own personal bank account or acceptable gift funds. Ideally, these funds have been in your personal bank account for a minimum of three months prior to seeking the home loan.
- Continue to save money to the bank account you provided for verification of assets.
- Notify your mortgage professional if you plan to receive a monetary gift toward closing.
- Notify your mortgage professional of any employment changes such as recent raises, promotions, transfers or pay status changes such as salary to commission.
- Alternately, be sure to notify your mortgage professional of any loss of income.
- Stay employed if employment income is being used for loan approval.
- Notify your mortgage professional regarding any changes to your employment status.
- Make regular, timely payments on all current debt obligations, including any current mortgages, car loans, student loans, or credit cards.
- Notify your mortgage professional of an unexpected depletion of the funds needed to close.
- Notify your mortgage professional of changes in your contact information.
- Notify your mortgage professional if you expect to make a financial deposit that is not related to your regular payroll, pension, SSI, or income tax refund.
- Notify your mortgage professional if you expect to receive a financial gift from a relative, employer, union hall or non-profit organization.
- Close or open any asset accounts or transfer funds between accounts without receiving the correct documentation required for your loan.
- Change jobs or employers without inquiring about the impact this change might have on your loan.
- Deposit any monies outside of your payroll deposits, particularly cash or sale of personal property. Many guidelines require substantial documentation as to the source of these deposits.
- Open or increase any new or existing liabilities, including credit cards, student loans or other lines of credit during the loan process.
- Make major purchases prior to or during your contract, such as new car, furniture, appliances, etc. as this may impact your loan qualification.
- Advance any cash from credit cards or borrow funds for closing.
- Change your legal name.
- Take any unpaid time off from work, such as unpaid vacation time, as the change in income for that period can negatively impact the loan process.
- Alter any of your legal or financial documents in any way.
If you have questions or concerns about any of the points listed here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.
If you’re just getting started shopping for a home in the Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, Washington areas, check out this online Mortgage Calculator and learn more about how much you can afford to spend on a new home purchase.