A Breath of Fresh Air

by brandt

To say we’ve had a whirlwind week is an understatement.  Between blitz marathon sessions of the greatest show on TV right now (“Mad Men,” sorry Dexter fans!), Ashley interviewing for (and getting offered) a new position at her work, and a wretched 24-hour food poisoning that I’ve dubbed “Lucifer’s Bean Burrito,” there actually was a bit of news that came out this week!

Our seller’s agent is very particular.  Like, crazy particular.  It’s probably because she’s got some sellers who have a house that’s been on the market for 100+ days, and she’s still unsure of what a short sale is, so my agent has been having a field day trying to meet the seller’s agent’s particular needs she put into our contract.

One of those nuances is requiring that we get a fully executed mortgage prior to the purchase agreement from the bank/subject to inspection and appraisal.  Basically, they want us to go down the path of getting both Ashley and I approved for a mortgage for a house based on a “greenslip,” or no property.  While frustrating, it did give us a chance to get a glimpse into what our mortgage was going to look like.

I think I probably used up almost all our cell phone minutes between conversations with the loan officer, my agent, and Ashley.  First, they wanted explanation for Ashley’s employment.  Then they wanted explanation on my employment.  Then they wanted explanation on where we went to school.  Then they wanted explanation on the house, and why we were putting a mortgage application in on a house without a property listed.  Then, after those questions were asked, our mortgage application came back rejected.



Because we didn’t have a ready-to-go purchase agreement that the bank agreed upon to submit with our application, the loan officer needed to put some sort of price on the loan application.  She grabbed our pre-approval, put down the price from the pre-approval she sent us (which was $35,000 more than we would ever conceive about offering), and sent it in to underwriting.  I did not know this.  She called me to discuss options for us to get an approval through their lender, and she mentioned maybe getting a co-borrower, since Ashley’s income didn’t qualify (something about her length of time as being a contract employee, blah blah blah).  So I had to suck it up, take inventory of my surroundings, and go ask my parents if they would be willing to co-sign.  They obliged, and then I got back in touch with the loan officer to discuss things further.

In our conversation, she mentioned a monthly mortgage payment that was much higher than I remember originally thinking.  I asked her what price she was using for the payment, and she mentioned that amount that was $35,000 more than what we offered.  I told her what we offered, our thought process for the price of the house, plus the fact that we wanted to have a little extra for some home repairs through a 203k loan, she changed the price on the app to our original offering price.  Two long days go by while the underwriters use every bit of analysis on us, and poof, I get an email in my inbox at work that we’ve been approved on my income alone.  Relief was felt, information was passed along, and bean burritos were consumed (but not “Lucifer’s Bean Burrito”…yet).

I sent the info over to my agent, and I got an out-0f-office response that she was on vacation.  She emailed me back right afterwards congratulating me, and sending the info over to the seller’s agent in an almost “See, I told ya you had a good buyer” type of manner.

She called me that night while she was on the road, and left me a voicemail since I couldn’t find my phone.  All it said was this: “Hey Brandt, give me a call when you have a chance, I found out some information on the short sale.”  My ears automatically perk up like a dog looking for a squirrel, and my spidey sense starts tingling.

And yes friends, that is nerdy Star Wars humor for you. Don’t think less of me.

Well, according to my agent, she didn’t want to press the seller’s agent for any information until we had this mortgage ready to go on our end. That way, she couldn’t threaten to take the deal off the table, which she’s done before. Like I said, CRAZY. She gets the information, happy about what she sees, and then said “Well, the bank has agreed to pay 3.5-4% of your closing costs, like was in the contract.” YES! VICTORY! Wait…that was only the closing costs. What does that mean? My agent broke it down for me:

The bank is getting close to their decision. You’ve got a negotiator assigned to this case, getting the analysis ready for the bank. They’ve looked at the contract, and agreed to pay 3.5-4%, but that doesn’t mean they’ve accepted your offer. That just means they agree to that portion. They could come back at you with a price $20,000 above what you offered, but they’ll still pay that percentage of closing costs. The good news is, you’re very close. I think you’ve got about 2 more weeks before we hear the bank’s decision.

Did you hear that! TWO MORE WEEKS!!!!

Also, concerning this 203k home rehab loan, we can start getting ready for contractors now. This is all going to be tacked on to our mortgage, so while we might spend $1,500 on carpeting, the interest will be the interest rate on the house. The upside is it gives first-time homeowners like Ashley and I the ability to fix up the house to make it likeable. The downside is, it’s tacked on to a 30-yr mortgage, which isn’t like paying off one’s credit card. However, I can now get in touch with Lowes, Home Depot, and others to begin getting quotes and estimates, and I think i was finally given permission to start dreaming of this house again. Let’s hope it’s not all a dream a la James Stewart as George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life” or Adam Sandler in “Click.”

I cannot believe I just compared the incomparable James Stewart to Adam Sandler. Please don’t take my movie snob title away! I just needed a stupid dream-cliche movie reference, and Sandler popped into my head!


3 Responses to “A Breath of Fresh Air”

  1. Joy, oh, joy! Still rooting for you!

    *another 203k loan holder*

  2. WOW! This is such exciting news! Now you can get down and do what you’ve been wanting to…getting your hands dirty. I am so happy for you two.


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