Here's another weekly installment of Do's and Don't's for prospective borrowers embarking on, or already engaged in the home mortgage process. In case it needs to be said, the "don't's" are strictly for comedy (though most are based on real world examples of things that will kill or greatly delay the mortgage process).
The "do's," on the other hand, are potentially valuable nuggets of information that may greatly benefit your mortgage experience. In fact, most of them can end up making a difference in the success or failure of a loan, and at the very least, can help avoid costly delays.
Above all else, remember that your loan originator wants to close your loan as quickly and as efficiently as you and the good ones fully appreciate that their borrowers' satisfaction plays a huge role in their long term success.
DO: Consider using a cash out refinance to utilize your home equity (if sufficient) to pay off high interest debts or pay for necessary improvements and upgrades.
DON'T: Tap your home equity line to fund a "short term investment" in a horse your brother's bookie claims is a guaranteed winner at the local racetrack.
DO: Ask your loan officer for recommendations on title companies he knows offer great customer service and reasonable rates.
DON'T: Tell your lender your cousin is an appraiser and "will really take care of you", so you want to use him for your appraisal.
DO: Know that lenders have varying guidelines for certain property types such as log, earth, and manufactured homes.
DON'T: Tell your loan officer that your doublewide (complete with wheels underneath) is a "custom prefab home".
DO: Accompany your home inspector as he evaluates the condition of the home you're buying.
DON'T: Ask your home inspector to "take a quick look" at 4 other homes you also consider buying.
DO: Address any credit blemishes with your loan officer and explain what happened.
DON'T: "Forget" to mention if you filed for bankruptcy earlier this week.
DO: Tell your appraiser if you had your home treated for termites.
DON'T: Ask your appraiser to remove a mother skunk and her offspring from under your porch.
DO: Ask your agent about negotiating seller paid closing costs into your sales offer.
DON'T: Inquire if your realtor will loan you the down payment for your new home.
DO: Show up promptly at the title company for your loan closing.
DON'T: Bring your girlfriend to sign the loan documents on behalf of your wife.
DO: Tidy up your house and pick up clothes from floor of son's room before appraiser arrives.
DON'T: Mention to appraiser that your house is "usually much filthier" than its current condition.
DO: Advise your loan officer of any pending litigation if you are being sued.
DON'T: Casually mention that you sued your last three lenders "because they just didn't do a good job".