"Never say never," the old adage goes. Sure, it applies to lots of things in life, but not necessarily buying and selling real estate. When you’re on the hunt for a new home, there are some things you actually should keep on your no-no list. Let’s take a look at a few circumstances where “never” is a positive thing.
Never house hunt without an agent. Go ahead and start browsing homes for sale online to get the lay of the land. But when it’s time to get serious, seek out a professional. They’ll guide you through every step of the process and work for YOU. Don’t think for a moment that buying a home without an agent will save you money. The seller has already agreed with their listing agent to pay a certain percentage of commission. They might offer you a “deal” if you work without a buyer’s agent, but that scenario most likely won’t work out in your best interest if you don’t have representation.
Never settle for the first mortgage lender you speak with. This can be a HUGE mistake. Get quotes from at least three lenders. If the first one you contacted happens to be the best fit of the group, then by all means, go with them! Just make sure to compare and contrast first to make sure you’re working with the absolute best lender you can find.
Never hold out for the “perfect” house. There’s no such thing as the perfect house (if there is, it’s most likely out of the average price range). But it’s completely possible to find the perfect house for you. Make a list of musts, wants, and nice-to-haves. Seek out a house that checks the most boxes and feels like it could be home. After all, the more you can personalize a house after you buy it, the more it will feel like it’s truly yours!
Never forget to budget for closing costs. The seller might chip in if your offer is strong, but you’ll be responsible for the majority of your closing costs. Expect to pay anywhere from 2-7% of the purchase price.
Never make big purchases before you close on your new home. Your credit and debt-to-income ratio should not change at all during the homebuying process. Any little change could affect your interest rate or even reverse your approval. The last thing you want is for the deal to fall through at the very last minute because you jumped the gun and bought new furniture for a house you can’t even buy now.
Never quit or change jobs before closing day. Anything that affects the stability of your income while you wait for closing day is a big ol’ no-no. As we said above, any change can be a red flag for your lender. Quitting a job, switching from salary to commission, becoming a contractor, or switching to a new job that can’t produce pay stubs quickly enough could be detrimental to the loan process.
Never change banks during the loan process. Lenders verify all of your information and finances in the beginning, but they also re-verify everything just before closing day. Changing banks during the loan process equals more paperwork, more verification, and more time wasted.
Never let your emotions get in the way. Buying a house is a big deal. It can be an emotional, sometimes overwhelming process, and that’s perfectly okay. But don’t let your emotions run so high that they get the better of you. Remember that nothing is set in stone until the papers are signed and the keys are handed over. Everything is negotiable, and it will all work out in the end!
There are many instances in life where you should never say never, but these are the dealbreakers when it comes to buying a house. Beware these pitfalls, and it should be smooth sailing to closing day!