Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's Been Crazy Lately

     So, the past four months have been a blur. I have been pulled, stretched, cajoled, and every other thing you can imagine. You see, my mother-in-law decided that it was time for us to either buy the home we are renting from her or for us to pay more rent. Sheree and I decided that we were going to try to buy the house. It was what we have wanted to do for a long time. It was now time to see if all my credit repair efforts had paid off. 

    It started out simple enough. I applied, faxed over 50+ pages of documentation to my loan officer and he says, "You're preapproved!" We were so excited. My loan officer said that we just needed to get a signed contract from Sheree's mom and he would get the ball rolling. 

     Within a few days we found a good contract to present her and sent it out for her to review and sign. She responded back saying that she could not sell the house at this time. What? Are you serious? She had been pressuring us to buy the home from her for the past year. Now, with no reason as to why, she backs out? We were, to say the least, upset, hurt, and down right mad.

     Well, we had this preapproval letter from our loan officer so we decided to go searching for a home free from Sheree's mom. We searched for a couple of weeks and found a couple of houses that we liked, but were torn between the two. One was a log cabin style home and the other was a ranch style. I personally was ok with either of them. I just needed Sheree to decide and she was taking her time with it. What pushed her over the edge was her mom sending a pretty hurtful email to her. This gave her the incentive to want to get out of the house fast and be free from the controlling nature her mom has imposed on her.

     So we decided on a house and that weekend we met with our really estate agent and got the offer letter and contract signed. It was an exciting time for both Sheree and me. I figured that since I had faxed over so many documents already that we were most of the way there. I was very wrong. 

     At first we were going to get a FHA loan. We had debated on this or a VA loan and decided that we both wanted to be on the mortgage and since we aren't married yet, the VA option wouldn't work. So my loan officer drew up the documents and when we went to sign everything we decided that we didn't want to make a large down payment. 

     So, in mid stream, we changed course and decided to go with the VA loan. This would help my credit since I'll be the only one on the loan, but would not help Sheree's. We decided that we'll try to refinance in a couple of years under both of our names. 

     By switching to a VA loan, the whole complexion of the process changed. First, the income being used for the loan was reduced to only mine. This meant that I had to shed some of the obligations that I had or at least shift them from a joint account to only Sheree's name. Ultimately, Sheree had to refinance our van in her name only. I really didn't want to do this because the on time payments would only be reported to her credit report and not mine, but looking at the larger picture, our goal was home ownership. This was a small price to pay in order to achieve our goal.

     My credit wasn't 100% where it needed to be so I had some work to do. While my score was high enough, I had a couple of collection accounts on my credit report that needed to be resolved and, with the time frame being short, I needed to act fast. So after many calls back and forth, I was able to settle the accounts and get the documentation verifying as much to my loan officer.

     Finally, closing on the home came and went without a hitch and we were now officially home owners. What a crazy four months this has been. Hard work and dedication towards our goals have paid off. While there were ups and downs to the whole process, I would not trade what I have learned for the world. I gained valuable insight in to the home buying process and what is now required in order to obtain a home loan after the housing market crashed and the new laws were put in place.