This is a guest post written by one of our preferred providers, Ann Griffith of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. You can reach Ann and her partner Ruby Teich at 323-620-6800 or via email at

As an experienced mortgage lender, I talk regularly with people at all stages of the home buying process. Based on the many conversations and relationships I’ve had over my career, the most common mistake people make when buying a home is NOT having a complete plan in place before shopping.  

These days, the internet has made so much information available to home seekers, but the thing that is sometimes missing is the guidance that brings all of that information together into a buying strategy. (That is certainly where the Realtor and the Mortgage Lender come in add the most value.) 

It’s easy to start looking online and get caught up in the excitement… and then to begin a home search without a solid plan. This often leads to disappointment and even discouragement in the beginning. 

A thorough plan is needed for home buying, complete with goals and objectives. The first step in that effective plan entails sitting down with a trusted and informed mortgage lender to go over income, credit, down payment, job history and all the mortgage options tailored to your specific needs.

Once the plan is in place, buyers can go out and shop with confidence and with a clear understanding of what they can afford, with their mortgage approval in hand. 

In the next phase of the plan, it is critical to be honest and have open communication with their Mortgage Lender. Not doing so is another common mistake.  Nobody wants any unwanted surprises during the mortgage process, and maintaining clear and honest communication will ensure that this doesn’t happen. 


•Change jobs;

•Increase liabilities;

•Open up new credit cards;

•Buy or lease a new car; or

•(last, but not least) deposit or transfer large sums of money without proper documentation.


•Keep access to bank statements and other important financial statements;

•Provide their earnest money deposit from their own personal bank account or acceptable gift funds;

•Provide all documentation for sale of their current home;

•Notify us if they plan to receive gift funds for closing; and

•Be aware and prepared that a new credit report could be pulled prior to closing.

The mortgage process does not have to be tricky. With a solid plan in place, and open and trusting communication with your Realtor and Lender, it won’t be! 


Are you ready to become a homeowner? Or, looking to buy your next property? You can learn more about the Steps to Buying a Home here!