Monday, March 26, 2012

Meeting part deux

So I know it’s been a while since I was last able to post and there is a lot to catch up on.  Many of you already know the end result.  But I’ve never been the type of person to jump to the last chapter in a book just to find out what happened, so I’m not going to let you do that either.

Unfortunately due to my hectic life over the last two weeks, I wasn’t able to write as soon as things happened and I apologize that I will be leaving out something.  I know that someone said something funny or alarming along the way that I was sure I was going to tell everyone about, but alas….time has flown by and this is the only time I have had to sit down and blog and my memory very well may escape me.

In the last post, I forgot to mention that we asked SunTrust if they had “preferred” realtors and/or suggestions for who we should work with.  We don’t know any realtors in the area that we were really wanting to work with.  (Our landlord is a realtor and a great guy and I really hated not wanting to use him, but he always seems so busy and over the past 16 months he’s promised numerous times to finish painting the rent house and that hasn’t happened yet.  So deep down, I think I was concerned about his level of interest.)  SunTrust gave us a card for Monica Poole.  I don’t mind actually mentioning her name in this post as she’s a wonderful realtor and as you’ll see in upcoming segments, she has been more than helpful and we couldn’t have asked for better!  Feel free to use her and or Google her, she’s great! 

I decided to go ahead and call Monica Wednesday morning while I was at work and let her know what price range we were looking at and where our search should be focused but that after the second meeting, I would be able to offer her more.

While at work, I perused the listings and found a couple that were interesting and sent them on to Jason.
Our next step in the house buying process was to meet with our second bank, Citizens South.  I had for-warned Jason that the lady we were meeting with was a talker!  And by talker…I mean T-A-L-K-E-R!!  When I initially called to set up the meeting, it was difficult to get in a word edge wise short of “we want to buy a house.”  I think the warning helped he’s not much for meeting with talkers.  Personally, I think it’s because Jason is a bit of a talker himself when he wants to be.  Shhhh… don’t tell him I said that ; -)
image via pinterest

The first impression wasn’t stellar as our meeting was scheduled for 4:30 but the Citizens South (C-S for short) made it a point to let me know she would be expecting us anywhere between 4:00 and 4:15.  Yay, we’re doomed to be late before we even start.  Any who, because she made the point that we were to be there early, I rushed home from work, quickly changed clothes and miraculously we arrived at exactly 4:15. Whew!  Guess who was on the phone and made us wait?  You guessed it, C-S lady.  We didn’t get into her office until 4:45.  It kinda sucked, but I don’t like to judge.  It was probably a really important phone call.  Know what I’m saying?  Jason didn’t.  He did not approve. 
image via Lillan G via Pinterest

After the initial introductions, we made our way to our seats across from what has to be one of the biggest desks I’ve ever sat behind in my life.  I imagine kindergarten aged children would have been less intimidated sitting in the principal’s office.  That’s how big this thing was.

First things first according to C-S lady was that we needed to be prequalified together.  Well duh!  While I wasn’t crazy about our credit getting run again, she assured us that the credit reporting companies understand when banks check your credit frequently as they know you are shopping for a mortgage.  While I understand that, what if we had not been approved/pre-qualified for a loan?  Wouldn’t that check still hit your credit and could conceivably do damage to same?  Hmm…fishy.

But we gave her our information and were told yet again that we were in great shape.  She asked about our monthly bills and our savings.  Did you know that banks are SHOCKED at the notion that you don’t have a car payment?  Believe me, it’s true. They honestly give you a look, like Que? What you say? I no understand?  Are you speaking English?

So, to make a long story short (too late, I know), we were advised that the USDA loan would be perfect for us!  Okay, cool, we like the sounds of that.  We ended up telling C-S how much we were currently spending in rent and that we were comfortable at that amount.  C-S lady told us we could spend more.  Thanks, but no thanks C-S lady.  We have old cars, government jobs with no year-end bonuses and would like to save for a wedding.  Our current payment is plenty, thank you very much.
image via icanhazcheezburger

C-S consented and ultimately decided that somehow, our moms and dads raised us right and that we were smart for not getting in over our heads.  Isn’t that how the economy ended up in this mess in the first place?  People spending more than they should, buying houses that weren’t in their price ranges?  Yea, I think I may have heard that somewhere (or everywhere). 

Now, don’t get me wrong, C-S may have talked a lot, but she was also a really good saleswoman.  I won’t lie, I’m pretty gullible and soaked it all in.  She seemed extremely knowledgeable about the government backed loans, both the USDA loan and the FHA loan.  (FHA requires 3% down and you can live anywhere you want).   She ultimately suggested that we go with the USDA loan, just like SunTrust did.  But said there was nothing wrong with the FHA loan if decided to live in the city.

Just to check about the foreclosure house again, we also asked C-S lady about it and her thoughts.  I think those bankers must talk when we’re not around, because she said the same thing about the foreclosure home that SunTrust did.  No can do…shucks!  Oh well, we’ll deal.

So after an hour and a half (yea, you read that right), we were walking out with a prequalification letter that better represented buying a house on our combined income.  At least we had a starting point for our house search.  And now we could really house search.  Yay!!!!  I hope Monica is ready, ‘cause we sure are!

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