by Melinda DiPerna
The world is full of great advice for homebuyers and just tuning into HGTV will have you watching hours of “reality” house hunters…but…sometimes it’s better to hear what NOT to do. Here’s my short list of what NOT to do when you are expecting to buy a home in the Oceanside area.
1. After you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage don’t make any major purchases OR pay off any current debt without first speaking with a loan officer. Your credit score is a complex algorithm that looks at not only your total debt, and payment history, but also your utilization of debt. This is not the time to buy all the furniture for your new home either, as lenders require “reserves” in the bank.
2. Don’t change jobs, ESPECIALLY going from a W-2 to a 1099 position, or to a new field. Consistency counts for lenders.
3. Never give earnest money or deposits directly to the seller. In California, we are an “escrow” state and this neutral third party will keep your money safe and be sure that the contract is properly implemented. In fact the new California residential purchase agreement (RPA) uses electronic (wired) funds as the default method of payment.
4. Don’t move money around. Getting a gift? Wait. You’ll need a gift letter. Keep a stash of money in cash and think you’ll just bring a suitcase to closing? Nope. These things must be tracked and accounted for. No sudden, unexplainable moves please when it comes to buying a home in Oceanside.
5. Don’t forgo your right to inspections. The current market in Oceanside and San Diego is still considered a seller’s market, and although you must right strong offers for acceptance, unless you are a licensed contractor and do this for a living, the inspection (aka contingency) phase is important so you know exactly what you are buying. Inspections range from a basic home inspection, to more detailed inspections for specific conditions and locations.
6. Don’t forget your hazard and fire insurance. Most lenders will require this early on, and occasionally homes may need special flood or hard to obtain insurance. You want to know this early on. Even if you are paying cash or investing in a rental property, you’ll want to have insurance for your new home.
7. Don’t go it alone. A reliable and real estate professional will help you with not only finding the right property, but also with negotiating the deal, and keeping it together if it’s right for you. Did you know that nearly 50% of real estate deals fall out of escrow? A professional will help prevent your Oceanside dream home from slipping through your fingers.
Realtor®, Broker-Associate, MBA, Certified Negotiation Expert, Military Relocation Professional
Keller Williams Realty