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Toll Free: 800-844-6387



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Things Not to Do Before Purchasing a Home

No Major Purchase of Any KindSubscribe to New MLS Listings

Review the article titled, "Donít Buy a Car," and apply it to any major purchase that would create debt of any kind. This includes furniture, appliances, electronic equipment, jewelry, vacations, expensive weddingsÖ
                                                                             Öand automobiles, of course.

Donít Move Money Around

When a lender reviews your loan package for approval, one of the things they are concerned about is the source of funds for your down payment and closing costs. Most likely, you will be asked to provide statements for the last two or three months on any of your liquid assets. This includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market funds, certificates of deposit, stock statements, mutual funds, and even your company 401K and retirement accounts. If you have been moving money between accounts during that time, there may be large deposits and withdrawals in some of them. The mortgage underwriter (the person who actually approves your loan) will probably require a complete paper trail of all the withdrawals and deposits. You may be required to produce cancelled checks, deposit receipts, and other seemingly inconsequential data, which could get quite tedious. Perhaps you become exasperated at your lender, but they are only doing their job correctly. To ensure quality control and eliminate potential fraud, it is a requirement on most loans to completely document the source of all funds. Moving your money around, even if you are consolidating your funds to make it "easier," could make it more difficult for the lender to properly document. So leave your money where it is until you talk to a loan officer.

OhÖdonít change banks, either.

How Changing Jobs Affects Buying a Home

For most people, changing employers will not really affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan. For some homebuyers, however, the effects of changing jobs can be disastrous to your loan application.

Salaried Employees

If you are a salaried employee who does not earn additional income from commissions, bonuses, or over-time, switching employers should not create a problem. Just make sure to remain in the same line of work.  Hopefully, you will be earning a higher salary, which will help you better qualify for a mortgage.

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Hourly Employees

If your income is based on hourly wages and you work a straight forty hours a week without over-time, changing jobs should not create any problems.

Commissioned Employees

 If a substantial portion of your income is derived from commissions, you should not change jobs before buying a home. This has to do with how mortgage lenders calculate your income. They average your commissions over the last two years.

Changing employers creates an uncertainty about your future earnings from commissions. There is no track record from which to produce an average. Even if you are selling the same type of product with essentially the same commission structure, the underwriter cannot be certain that past earnings will accurately reflect future earnings.

Changing jobs would negatively impact your ability to buy a home.

Bonuses

If a substantial portion of your income on the new job will come from bonuses, you may want to consider delaying an employment change. Mortgage lenders will rarely consider future bonuses as income unless you have been on the same job for two years and have a track record of receiving those bonuses. Then they will average your bonuses over the last two years in calculating your income.

Changing employers means that you do not have the two-year track record necessary to count bonuses as income.

Part-Time EmployeesSearch Foreclosures Montgomery MLS

If you earn an hourly income but rarely work forty hours a week, you should not change jobs. There would be no way to tell how many hours you will work each week on the new job, so no way to accurately calculate your income. If you remain on the old job, the lender can just average your earnings.

Over-Time

Since all employers award overtime hours differently, your overtime income cannot be determined if you change jobs. If you stay on your present job, your lender will give you credit for overtime income. They will determine your overtime earnings over the last two years, then calculate a monthly average.

Self-Employment

If you are considering a change to self-employment before buying a new home, donít do it. Buy the home first.

Lenders like to see a two-year track record of self-employment income when approving a loan. Plus, self-employed individuals tend to include a lot of expenses on the Schedule C of their tax returns, especially in the early years of self-employment. While this minimizes your tax obligation to the IRS, it also minimizes your income to qualify for a home loan.

If you are considering changing your business from a sole proprietorship to a partnership or corporation, you should also delay that until you purchase your new home.

Reasons to Delay Buying a Home

Assuming you have the financial resources and the desire to eventually own your own home, there are very few good reasons to put off the purchase. You can miss out on years of appreciation if you do.

The main thing you want to avoid when buying a home is being put in a position where you will have to sell it too soon. If you have to sell a home before it has appreciated enough to cover the costs and commissions of selling, you could find yourself in a financial bind. This is especially true for those who buy a home with a down payment of ten percent or less.

Real Estate commissions traditionally run around six percent of a homeís sales price. The sellerís closing costs generally come to about one and a half percent. You can see how this can easily exceed the first yearís appreciation. If you made a minimal down payment, you could actually have to come up with cash out of pocket to sell your home.

New to the Area

 A very good to reason to delay buying a home is if you have just moved to an unfamiliar area or region of the country. It makes sense to rent for a number of months before deciding on exactly where you want to live. Often when people buy a home immediately they find that they might have made a better decision if they had waited awhile.

Uncertain Job Future

 You could be right out of college or expecting a promotion and a transfer. Or your company has announced an impending "restructuring." If any of these apply, it might be best to wait to buy a home. When you have a more accurate picture of what your next few years will be like, that will be the time to buy.

Marital Problems

 Real estate agents see a lot of life unfold before their eyes. One of the saddest occurs when former clients divorce and are forced to sell a recently purchased house. It happens all too often when a family in turmoil decides that buying a new home may help resolve their problems. Perhaps it is inevitable that such problems occur, but selling a home before it appreciates can create an additional financial burden in an already difficult situation.

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Home|Search for Homes|Buy A Home|Sell My Home|Relocating|Community Links|Tools & Resources|About Jean|Contact Jean
Montgomery REALTOR, ABR, Buyers Rep, CRS, certified real estate specialist Jean Williams, Montgomery Metro Realty
4180 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 USA
Office Phone: 334-277-9100 ~ Fax: 334-270-8093 ~ Toll Free: 800-844-6387

Serving Central Alabama cities of Montgomery, Wetumpka, Prattville, Pike Road, Millbrook
and all areas of Montgomery county, Elmore county and Autauga county

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