Why home purchases fall apart at last minute

As credit crunch intensifies, buyers use contingencies for backup

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Most buyers and sellers feel relieved when the negotiations are done and the purchase agreement has been signed by all parties. It's a milestone. But, you might want to hold off celebrating until the transaction closes. Current market conditions have complicated the home sale industry. Lender requirements for mortgage qualification and the types of home loans available are changing daily. Before getting into contract to buy a home, make sure you double check with your lender or mortgage broker to confirm that the loan you were qualified for several weeks ago is still available. For example, a week before closing, buyers who were purchasing their first home -- and who had been assured that their financing was in order -- were informed that their lender was no longer providing the type of loan they needed to complete the transaction. These were well-qualified buyers who had enough cash for a 10 percent down payment and closing costs. They needed to borrow a first mortgage fo...