Since my wife is a school teacher, she qualifies for a special Housing and Urban Development program known as the Good Neighbor Next Door. Fortunately her being married to me doesn’t disqualify her as being a “good neighbor.” While being eligible for this program (and having the good fortune of having our name pulled in the lottery) has resulted in a steal of a deal – buying a condo at 50% of appraised value — it has sure been an ordeal.
A lot of the rigamarole of buying a home (particularly a foreclosed government home) probably isn’t news to many people, but for all of those out there that have never purchased a home, it just might be.
A few things I didn’t know going in…
*that I would be memorizing the phone number of both my Realtor and mortgage company, and that I would talk to my Real Estate agent almost daily for 2 months
*That you have to pay someone to make sure the title of the home you are purchasing is clean, and then you also have to pay for insurance to protect you ($659 for us) in case they find it to be clean but it really isn’t.
*That using SLC rather than Salt Lake City on a HUD application could almost be grounds for contract dismissal.
*That lenders are hesitant/reluctant to give you a Good Faith Estimate (so that you can compare the cost options of going with different lenders) until you pick them – because of the time it takes.
*That you might get charged a higher interest rate for borrowing less money.
*That you have to pay the seller, the real estate agent, the lender, the title company, the recorder, the HOA and about 5 other entities before all is said and done.
Some things you may want to have in order if you are looking to buy a home in the near future:
Copies of this years and last years Federal tax returns for each borrower
Copies of all W-2 for each borrower for last 2 years
2 forms government ID’s for each borrower
Copies of all banks statements for each borrower
Copies of all retirement plan statements for each borrower
Last two paystubs from each borrower
My biggest surprise in the whole process, was the fact that my effort to stay informed on what was going on, and learn about the process, led me to be chewed out by a loan processor, and to stop being cc’d on e-mails from Mortgage lender to Real Estate Agent or Title Company. Mind you I was always pleasant and friendly — but sometimes they just didn’t want to bother with keeping me informed — which almost led us to miss the deadline on the contract and have it nulled and voided.
Through it all, I am just so glad that we had Allison Garcia, a dynamo real estate agent helping the mortgage company and us navigate the web of unique conditions related to this government program — and truly going above beyond what was expected of her. Thank you Allison for advocating for us and helping us get into our first home!!