PHOENIX -- Buying a house? Then forget zero down; those days are gone. Now, you pretty much have to have a down payment.
But that's the first problem. Lenders want to know exactly where your down payment came from.
"I don't care what the reason is," says Diane Gerdes, a Realtor here in the Valley. "If you had it in a jar in the back yard. If your 'baby daddy' owed you the money and you put it in the account cash, it doesn't matter," Gerdes says.
If you can't document where the money came from, it's one of the reasons your mortgage can and will be denied. "If you're planning on buying a home, you need to put it in the bank now and make sure it stays there for at least 90 days," Gerdes advises.
Another reason your mortgage might be denied is a career change right before you apply for a loan. "If you want to get your loan declined, then go quit your job and go find another one," Gerdes says.
Gerdes says even if you changed jobs, just be up-front, and tell them. "Be honest," she says, "If you had a job gap, quit your job, stayed home for a couple of months or lay on the couch and watched TV, that's fine. You just need to let your loan officer know."
Here's another way to get denied. Don't provide all the paperwork. If they want your tax returns from 2010, for example, cough them up. "If they've asked you for something, and you're like, 'No, my cousin George didn't have to provide that, why should I?' Then, you're not going to get a loan," she says.
And finally, do you really want your mortgage denied? Have shoddy credit and and don't pay your bills on time. "If you're a sloppy payer, you haven't paid your credit cards or your car, it's going to be difficult for you to get a home loan," Gerdes says.
She says we now live in a new era. It's one where lenders are stricter, and where consumers need to cooperate more. "If you want to make sure you don't get your home loan, these are the tips you need to follow," Gerdes jokingly says.