It is about that time of year again when we begin to set the bar for ourselves in the New Year. To lose weight, check some things off the bucket list, save money…whatever it may be. We also usually qualify that with an “I’ll start right after Christmas” disclaimer, I am certainly no different (more cookies for everyone!)
BUT if a new home is on your Christmas list or in your plans for 2014 there is no time like the present to make sure your financial situation is in line with your goals. The National Retail Federation forecasted the average holiday shopper would spend $737.95 on presents, décor, and greeting cards. So how do you save in a season of spending?
To start, I have 10 rules that I include in my buyer book that outlines the big no-no’s when you are preparing to apply for a home loan:
1. Do NOT change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job.
2. Do NOT buy a car, truck, or van (or you may be living in it!)
3. Do NOT use credit cards excessively or let accounts fall behind.
4. Do NOT spend money you have set aside for closing.
5. Do NOT omit debts or liabilities from your loan application.
6. Do NOT buy furniture.
7. Do NOT originate inquiries into your credit.
8. Do NOT make large deposits without first checking with your loan officer first!
9. Do NOT change bank accounts.
10. Do NOT cosign a loan for ANYONE.
These rules don’t just apply to home loans, they apply to any savings goals. Especially purchases that will need to be financed. The bottom line is to keep your money in your pocket.
If a home loan pre-approval is your main goal, my last bit of advice is to do your homework. Most buyers will start with a bank or a mortgage broker, however they are not all created equal. Many will have very different approval standards and some will have downright different interest rates that could save you a great deal of money down the road. Call a Licensed Realtor like myself. We work with lenders every day and could advise you on how to get started and even give you a list of lenders we have had the pleasure of working with.
A new home doesn’t have to be a dream. A little bit of planning and a little bit of guidance could have you in your new home sooner than you expect.