Saturday, February 4, 2012

Undergoing Underwriting

 If you've ever bought a house, you probably still get a little shiver down the spine when somebody says, "Closing."

But do you know what's worse than boogie monsters, prepaids, spiders, and having to come up with a year's worth of home insurance premiums?

Waiting for an underwriter to render judgement upon your mortgage application.

You've probably guessed that we're buying a house...Errr. Attempting to anyway.

Here is my advice for anyone going thru this process:

1.) Get Pre-Approved, NOT Pre-Qualified. Pre-Approval involves having your lender run a credit report, checking your bank accounts, and verifying your debt-to-income ratio, which you should have already done prior to setting up your appointment. Don't let it sneak up on you! Google "debt-to-income ratio" to figure out the math. It's easy!

2.) Set your limit and stick to it. You should have a serious conversation with yourself, your spouse, your partner, etc about what you really do and do not want in a house/neighborhood. This is most often a 30 year committment, and frankly, NOBODY looks at houses without getting a little emotionally involved. Better to have the basics sorted before you start looking at that charming little wreck down the road. You'll also be less likely to bump your budget up, say, $80K...

3.) Get Thee to a Buyer's Agent. Do you know what the Seller's Agent's job is? To get you to buy THAT house. A Buyer's Agent, who also wants to get you to buy A house, is more concerned with getting you into a house that fits your criteria. Look for one with extensive knowledge about the area you want to live in and who will champion on your behalf. Our agent has been an invaluable resource for neighborhood knowledge, places to avoid, houses to avoid, and the information about the process.

4.) Even if it looks perfect, have it inspected. Let's be serious, home inspections aren't cheap...You know what else isn't cheap? Digging your charming little wreck out of a pit after the foundation fails on you. Best to just search the web for a CERTIFIED and LICENSED inspector in your area. And no, your Uncle Handy Manny is probably not the best idea either.

Have I followed my own advice, you say? Yep. Now I'm sitting back and cooling my heels while we wait on appraisal and underwriting. 

Wish us luck, and if anyone wants to commiserate, comment below!


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