Yeah. I heard them all. If you even think that you’re ready to buy a home for the first time… you’re not! LOL
Of course, each process is different. I’ll at least explain mine. This is a long post. If anyone even remotely cares to read about this, I applaud you!
I lived in Arlington, VA for a couple of years and after the time came when my lease was over, I decided that I didn’t want to rent anymore. And that’s all I knew at that moment. I moved back home with my parents and just regrouped and enjoyed the process of being back home with my family. It was just where I needed to be. And honestly, it was a blessing. I could have been in a situation where I had no other choice but to rent, or nowhere else to go. There’s the whole expectation of… you’re grown and you’re on your own. Thankfully, my family was delighted to have me back home, mainly my mother. Fast forward to now, I knew almost a year and a half ago that by November 2012, I wanted a house or at least wanted to be in the process of getting one.
A year ago, I decided to attend an open house in my neighborhood on a whim. I knew that 30 was coming and I needed to start putting things into motion, but I wasn’t going to rush it. I needed to be sure about every move that I was going to make. I mean… this is a 30 year debt that I’m looking at here! Friends, associates and colleagues always questioned “When are you going to move??” and things of that nature. Of course, things are no simple answers or explanations to give. Nor should anyone feel the need or pressure to answer that. But it does leave people to make snap judgments or assumptions about you even if they don’t know all of the details. That’s one aspect of it.
I’ll say this, if you are trying to get a house, make sure your affairs are in ORDER. Seriously, it is so far beyond of simply having “good credit.” Some friends and associates may have benefitted by that motto but that was a different day and age. NOW because of the recession and the crash, lenders are VERY conservative of who they are lending to and if you really want to go through this process, you will be at the mercy of your lender and agent and just prepare yourself to be put through the ringer. I’m not saying anything that’s reinventing the wheel. You’ve seen and heard it before, and you’ll hear it again and again. Nothing has changed. Take your head from out of the sand and CONFRONT whatever issues that you need to in order to move forward. This is applicable in many factors than just finances! Simply put: Face it! Fix it!
Back to the “good credit” part, please be sure to check your reports for any inaccuracies and DISPUTE THEM. Once they pull your credit and your banking statement. Again, you’re at their mercy, so they’re going to ask what certain charges are on your statement and then tell you what steps you need to take to resolve certain things on your credit report. I just say that as a general disclaimer.
In my particular situation, I didn’t have a lot of credit card debt. I just took the initiative to pay my cards down. I would use sites like CreditScore.com to monitor my credit score, but it would only give me Experian and even then, it wasn’t entirely accurate in comparison to what the lender gave me which was way different. I walked into my mortgage lender’s office in DC on a whim, back in August not knowing what to expect. Low and behold, I was ready to go!
However… I didn’t have substantial savings! DUN DUN DUNNNN
Yeah, spare me the lectures. I had planned on being in a much better position, but hey, that didn’t happen. I dealt with it and moved on.
You see, the humdinger is that sometimes they explain or it is mentioned at the last second. You have to have the right team of people to tell you ahead of time that… “Oh by the way, you have to have good credit AND you have to have thousands of dollars in your bank account!” Granted, I had some money, but not like what they were asking for as if I had a rich uncle in Bel Air to help with that! Yes, there are down payment assistance programs, but you may not qualify. I only qualified for one through Wells Fargo, however I was still required to put money down, since the house that I bought is a complete renovation, FHA Rules require that 3.5% of YOUR funds. Thank God that happened because that helped tremendously!
So from September-November, a your boy was damn near shy of breakdancing on K street to be in competition with the hookers and homeless people to come up with that down payment!! ROFL! Seriously, I sold all types of stuff on ebay, craigslist and just stayed my ass HOME. No more bar hopping or going to the movies. Stuck to the basics. S.A.V.I.N.G! Plus it made it all the more daunting having to give updated statements every other week to the loan officer. I tell you this, anyone going through this process understands… you will find out who your REAL friends are with all of this! HAHA
I almost lost sight of the goals. Got all kinds of discouraged. As a natural worrywart, I got stressed out. Again, here I am doing all of this while working full time and working on my doctorate. WTF was I thinking?? And that’s why I say I was rolling in the deep…
I say all of that to say, if you’re one of those people that are cool with jumping in head first, sure, go ahead! Just be ready for all that comes with it! LOL While I spent time talking, reading, researching, and assessing areas in DC that I wanted to live, none of that prepared me for GO time. Those 2 months involve having to do so much not to mention having to do that mandatory 8 hour first time home buying class, where at one point you start hearing horror stories on what could go wrong in your home, condo or co-op. When you’re in it, don’t give up. You can achieve your dreams, just stay persistent. Make the calls that you need to make. Bug the people at the bank just like they bug you. At least you’re getting a reaction out of them, and that’s FAR better than being forgotten about. I’m just saying! 🙂 You can make it happen.