Whether you’re in the process of securing a mortgage or you’ve already made the down payment, it’s a huge milestone in life. You should be incredibly proud of yourself – especially if you’ve managed to do it in such a difficult real estate market. At the same time, you should also be extremely careful.

See, there are a lot of little pitfalls and roadblocks you might encounter along the way which, should they catch you unprepared, might completely derail your plans. That’s what we’re here to talk about today – here are a few things a lot of people don’t realize about the mortgaging process.

Credit Cards Aren’t The Only Thing That Can Impact Your Credit Rating

When it comes to applying for a mortgage, there’s a lot of stuff that can affect your approval status. Credit rating and employment are two of the biggest ones. While the latter is fairly easy to understand, the former is…a little less so.

Sure, there’s the obvious stuff. Paying your credit cards on time, not allowing yourself to have any outstanding debt, and so on. But there’s a lot of much less obvious factors, too.

For instance, did you know that being late on paying your cell phone bill can actually damage your credit? Ditto on closing an old credit card or making multiple credit inquiries over a short period of time. And if you think you’re safe because you don’t have a credit card or cell phone, think again – having no credit score can be just as bad.

Mortgage Fraud Is More Common Than Ever – Occupancy Fraud Especially

Mortgage fraud is on the rise, thanks to an increasing demand for home ownership. The most common form is known as occupancy fraud. This involves an applicant deliberately supplying false information about their intentions with a property – a consumer may disclose that they plan to live in a property when they actually plan to rent it out.

If you’ve done that, make no mistake – you are committing fraud. You are breaking the law. And if you’re caught, you could be in a world of trouble.

Your Mortgage Isn’t The Only Cost You’ll Need To Budget For

Purchasing a property is an incredibly expensive prospect and a difficult undertaking besides. Mortgage payments aside, you’ll also need to be aware of property tax, renovation and maintenance fees, condo fees (if you purchased an apartment), and a host of other bills (not to mention legal fees). Too often, we’ve seen clients who mortgaged their first home and were unprepared for all the hidden costs involved in doing so.

Don’t make the same mistake.

Closing Thoughts

Mortgaging a home is a big step in life. It’s one you should approach with pride. But it’s also one you should approach with caution.

Know what you’re getting into ahead of time, and be sure to do your research. Otherwise, you might end up putting down roots somewhere you really don’t want to be – if you can even put down roots at all.