I am going to write another blog about what to expect at your mortgage closing, but I feel it is equally important to point out the things that you should stay clear of before we even get to the closing, because these things could put the whole mortgage at risk!
These are the things you should not do before you close escrow.
Lenders prefer a steady and consistent job history, and your whole mortgage to this point has been based on your current income history. Any changes in your employment at this point such as changing jobs, companies or becoming self-employed could spell disaster to your ability to purchase your home. At the very least, it could put the process on hold while the lender re-evaluates your financial position.
Making Big Purchases
Yes, you are getting ready to move into that new home and you need new furniture or appliances or you want to celebrate with a trip to Cancun, or maybe even want a new car to make your commute from your new home more enjoyable. All of this is definitely a bad idea! Your loan is based on something called “debt to income ratio” and it was calculated based on your current debt. Adding any more debt at this point will change that ratio not in your favor! Even buying these things with a cash reserve you have set aside is a bad idea, because you would have had to disclose your savings during the mortgage process and this was all taken into account when you were approved. So for now, do not make any purchases with any type of credit or cash savings. Wait until you have closed escrow and have the keys to your new home.
Paying Your Bills Late
This should be self explanatory, but you don’t want to be late on your car payments or credit card payments now, when your new home hangs in the balance. Be sure to stay current on all debt before and during the escrow process. Of course, you want to continue to stay current and pay off that debt even after you get the keys to your new house!
Opening/Closing New Credit Card Accounts
This is just a bad idea during your escrow. There is nothing to be gained by having more debt and opening new accounts could impact your credit status. The same is true for closing accounts, even though that may seem counter intuitive; closing accounts during the escrow could affect your credit rating. Now, sometimes lenders will ask you to pay off small debts in order to get your debt to income ration down to an acceptable level, but that is a request the lender will make, otherwise, just keep paying your monthly payments as usual.
The escrow process only last about 30 days on average, and during this time, your lender should be able to reach you easily. Don’t travel to remote places where you cannot be reached. Don’t get a new cell phone number, unless you give it to your lender first thing. Don’t take extended vacations, or travel to places you may not be able to get back from in time to close escrow. Many times during the closing there are small or large glitches, and the lender needs your attention right away, Not being available could push back the closing date on your new home.
These are just the big ones, and the ones that could impact you the most. Please feel free to contact me any time if there are questions about your closing. It is better to get the answers ahead of time, rather than dealing with a potential issue during the closing process. I am always available to help make this process easy and get you into your new home!