You are in a good place: you found your dream home at a price you can afford, the seller accepted your offer and your financing is all set. While you may find it a relief to be at this point in the home-buying process, you should understand that there may still be some potential issues before your closing date. Knowing and preparing ahead of time is key, so read on to learn more.
The rate you locked in might expire: From the time you lock in your rate until you close could take months, and often you can be left surprised when your rate expires. In most cases, loan rates are only good for so many days, and in most cases your closing date comes well before the rate expires. There are too many issues that could occur to mention, but often you might have the home inspector find a problem that takes a longer amount of time to correct than anticipated. Often the loan cannot be approved until a problem with the home is corrected or an addition or when a remodel on the home was not done to code.
When these and other issues cause a delay in your closing, you may find your interest rate lock expiring. When it comes to interest rates, even a small change could cost you thousands of dollars. When your closing date approaches and your home or loan is not ready, keep in close communication with your real estate agent and your lender to ensure that everything stays on track to close within your time limit.
You accidentally damage your credit: Just because your loan was already approved is no reason to stop being financially careful. You should understand that the lender will do continuous credit checks on your credit record and on your bank accounts in the weeks leading up to your final closing, and any sudden issues could seriously jeopardize your loan. Don't disturb your bank accounts by making large purchases, don't apply for new credit and don't use your credit cards until you have closed on your home.
You expect the home to be ready for you: In many cases, the purchase of home is contingent on certain issues being repaired or replaced or other matters being taken care of. You should not just assume that the seller has taken care of those items, you must verify it. Do a series of walk-throughs before you close to ensure that all is well with your home, before sign those papers.
Talk with your realtor for more help.