Buyers can get great deals on homes during the holiday season, but house shopping around Christmas time isn’t the easiest of tasks. December tends to be a pretty spendy time of year, and if you’re trying to buy a home, a spending spree should be the furthest thing from your mind. Even a small change in your financial situation can cause a delay in closing—or it might cause the entire deal to fall through. If you find yourself with a December closing date, here are some important things to remember to help keep things on track.
Don’t open any new lines of credit. It can be tempting when a cashier offers you an extra 20% off your purchase for just applying for a store card, but please don’t do it. Even if you don’t charge anything to a new credit card, simply opening one can raise a red flag for your lender. To be on the safe side, wait until after closing to apply for any new credit.
Don’t make any large purchases. Moving into a new house sometimes requires new furniture, and buyers are sometimes impatient. With Christmas around the corner, this one can be even more difficult. Maybe you had plans to surprise your loved one with a new car. Maybe your son was really looking forward to a new, top-of-the-line computer. If you’re waiting to close on your new home, though, it’s best to wait until after to buy the big gifts.
Do be careful about large deposits. Yes, even that nice Christmas bonus can throw a wrench in the works! Anything that changes your debt-to-income ratio (even if it’s in your favor) can be a potential problem. If you do receive a large check, check with your mortgage broker to see if depositing it into your bank account will cause any issues.
Do keep paying bills. This isn’t the time to skip a payment just to have a little extra cash for Christmas. Paying all bills on time is important to keep your credit in good standing. The last thing you want to do is have a dip in your credit score just before closing!
What other advice do you have for homebuyers who have a closing date during the holiday season? Drop us a line in the comments section!