Buying a home? It’s not easy. From making financial slip-ups to not knowing how to navigate the loan process, there are plenty of pitfalls along the path to homeownership.
Luckily, we have the single most important document for your home-buying journey (sort of). The Ten Commandments of Buying a Home, brought to you straight from the higher powers of real estate, are here to guide you away from the valleys of home-buying darkness, and into the light of ownership.
Commandment #1: Though shalt not change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job.
Changing jobs during the home-buying process can really knock your financial foundation right out from under your feet. When you buy a home, you’ll be facing a lot of consistent—and often expensive—payments. An unpredictable career change can put in you a poor position in the future.
Commandment #2: Thou shalt not buy a car, truck or van (or you may be living in it).
Two big purchases right on top of each other? Maybe not the best idea for your bank account. Keep your big tickets items to a minimum during this time, so you can put more into making your home better and cover any unexpected costs without being stretched too thin.
Commandment #3: Thou shalt not use credit cards excessively or let current accounts fall behind.
Good credit plays a key role in securing loans for current and future home purchases. If you start racking up more debt than you can handle, it’ll take you a while to dig yourself out of that hole. Make your future-self proud, and keep the credit card use to a reasonable amount.
Commandment #4: Thou shalt not spend money you have set aside for closing.
Having all that money in your bank account can be tempting. Maybe you have your eye on a brand new Apple watch and think, “what’s a missing $500 going to matter in the end?” But resist those temptations! Every penny counts for your down payment.
Commandment #5: Thou shalt not omit debts or liabilities from your loan application.
Withholding important information? That can get you in some hot water down the road, both legally and financially—ever heard of mortgage fraud? Plus, many lenders will be double-checking the info you provide, so the ruse doesn’t last for long. Just stick to the truth, and you won’t have to worry.
Read up on the Rest
There’s still five other commandments to read up on, so check them all out for yourself, and commit them to memory. Okay, maybe you don’t have to memorize them, but having a good idea of the mistakes to avoid will help you in the long run!