House Hunting

The Art of Obtaining a Mortgage

I apologize it’s been a while. This article took a bit to write. So, let’s start with a recap:

  1. List of Wants – Check
  2. List of Locations – Check
  3. Relator – Check
  4. Budget – Check
  5. Open/Houses Viewings – Check
  6. Offer Put on House- Check
  7. Offer Accepted – Check
  8. Inspection – Check
  9. Mortgage –
  10. Appraisial –

Once the inspection is complete, now you need to show up to a closing table with a substantial amount of money. You can go one of two ways, you can roll up to your local bank and talk to them, or you can go with a mortgage company. I can’t speak to going to the bank as we went with a mortgage company, however, I believe it would be something I would explore a bit more when I do go through the process of purchasing real estate again.

When I sat down with our realtor for the first time, I mentioned that every person who has written a blog or information about buying a house their descriptions are pretty miserable. It is likely this step of getting the mortgage that causes the most distress and frustration. It is also incredibly easy to let a bad mortgage obtaining experience color the entire house buying process. I, personally, did let it get the better of me, however, in looking back I have some tips. Here are my top 5 things to keep in mind while getting a mortgage:

1.) Be prepared to produce copies of your entire monetary life. You will need copies of 3+ months of bank statements, your past three years tax returns, pay stubs, social security cards, drivers licenses, fingerprints, your dogs foot prints, and your first born child. Ok, maybe not the last three but you really do need to have access to every part of your life which touches any money, savings, loans…you name it, you need it. Your realtor will likely give you a book about buying a house and it will list the most common documents that you’ll need, it’s likely you’ll be asked for even more than that. Just be ready for the unexpected.

2.) Respond as quickly as you can. When your mortgage company asks you for documentation, the faster you can produce the documentation the more easily the process will move along. If you are on a fast close (a close date 40 days after the offer) slowing down this process can really cause some stress later on down the road. It is likely you will go back and forth with the mortgage processor a few times to get all the documentation that they want/need.

3.) Ask a lot of questions. When I originally wrote this question, I said trust no one. Unfortunately not trusting anyone really isn’t an option in this case, especially when it is your first house. The caveat to this tip, is to not only ask a lot of questions but ask a lot of “How?” and “Why?” questions. Asking for specific definitions of any and all words and terms is incredibly important. Even having base knowledge of these terms really isn’t enough.

4.) Be a pest. It is likely that your mortage company has a lot of different mortages going on. Unfortunately, you’re not special. It’s very important for you to be on top of the team. Make sure you are asking frequently where things are and what is going on. Constantly asking for the next step will help you stay one step ahead.

5.) Take lots of deep breaths. As mentioned above, this is probably the most frustrating part of buying a house. You feel like every three steps you ran forward you ran two backwards. You are moving foward, however, you are always pulled back down to the reality that they just need one more document.

Next time, we close. Maybe I’ll even have some pictures.