Patience? No.

So today has been one for the “good news” category.  My credit score has risen to the point where I’m good for the down payment assistance program that we’ll be using for the home purchase.  That’s one more worry that is biting the dust.  Now it’s a matter of waiting out the rest of my paid off credit accounts to report so the last of my credit score bumps will happen and I can finally move into the final “house buying” phase that is the mortgage underwriting process.  If all goes extremely well, that credit reporting period will be done in three weeks.

Three long weeks.  Three really long weeks.

I don’t have any regrets about jumping on the house we’re buying, but this wait is making me almost nuts.  I want to know that the 4.0% rate lock won’t expire… I want to know that the appraisal will come in at a comfortable level…  I want to know that I made it through qualification for the financing program that has the rate locked.

Hell.  I just want to know that all I have left to do is wait for the processing to finish up so we can get the clear to close and know that it’s all really happening.

I’ve looked at the alternatives on the market and the next best house is $20,000 more expensive than the one we’re buying.  That is HUGE.  And risky.  And I don’t agree that the offered price is right.  Even worse, it’s a poor second in terms of size and layout.  Location is wonderful – better than the one we’re buying and the location we’re buying in has its own perks, so no regrets there.  I’m just not seeing anything else that compares with the one we’ve got under contract and that means my desire to see this all go smoothly is cranked up.

I always get nervous when I want something too much.  It’s like I’m taunting the fates and just begging for something to go wrong.

On the flip-side, I have an intense sense of satisfaction over the fact that the one score I know will be used for the mortgage process has already gone up 61 points since February 1st.  If all goes as expected, I should see a minimum of another 20 point increase and may even see more than that.  It’s very satisfying and is actually providing a bit of something to keep me occupied while I go through the waiting for each score to update.  I’m tracking it in a spreadsheet with (I’m not kidding) a graph. 

And yes, this would be me and my need to measure things at work.  I’m testing out the MyFICO score simulator to see how accurately it’s projecting the changes.  So far it’s been dead on. 

It does make me wonder what I’ll be on to measuring after the whole house thing is resolved?  I suppose it might be time to address my weight.  Again. 

Well, that’s it for now.  I think it’s time for sleep and recovery from my bowling attempt tonight.  That’s a whole ‘nother sad tale.

Cheers,
moonfire

 

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ok, so maybe my posts don’t make sense!

Wow.  I didn’t really explain what went on between May 11 and May 15.  So here’s the scoop:

On Saturday, 5/12, I was doing my usual thing, perusing real estate listings and checking in on properties that I thought were interesting.  There are two in particular that we really liked, unfortunately they were out of our price range (I’ve been hoping the prices would drop, but won’t happen in this market or this time of year).  One property that I’ve been keeping an eye on had a decrease in price from $185,000 to $179,000.  I was immediately motivated and emailed our agent that we’d like to see it and could she call me.

To explain why, it goes like this…  In our part of town, things go fast if they are priced right.  The house in question is 2016 square feet, 5 bedroom/ 3 bath and fully remodeled inside.  The listing agent, who is also the owner, actually did a really poor job listing the property and entered it as 4 bed/ 5 bath.  The pictures he posted were limited and didn’t hit the high points either.   It was just weird!

So our agent called me back and we set the appointment for Mother’s Day, noon.  My mum ended up heading off with us to see it, which was lovely.  We got to the property and whoa.  NO curb appeal – yet another bonus for us in this market.  Miserable lawn full of clover and weeds…  volcanic rock in what should be planted beds.  We peered through the fence into the back yard to find out that it was all gravel and weeds.  But we weren’t ready to give up, so I peeked through the multi-paned window on the front door and ahhhh…..  pretty dark wood flooring, new carpet, new paint…

Our agent showed up (and she is a sweetie) and we finally got inside.  Wow.  The listing agent/owner really blew it on the listing.  If he had shown more of what was there, I have no doubt someone would have snapped it up before us!  It’s a split-level and we headed up the stairs first, naturally.  Granite tile counter tops in the kitchen, new cupboard fronts in an antique-y finish, brand new gas range, that dark flooring… but then I turned around and that’s when I saw the bay window in the living room.  The main wall color is kind of a soft butterscotch/tan and the trim is all high gloss white.  That bay window really popped and looked cheerful!  I hadn’t even seen the rest of the house yet and I was already thrilled with what I was seeing.

The main bath just off the living room and kitchen has all new ceramic tile and a pedestal sink, as well as a good-sized tub.  The master bedroom was a nice size and the master bath had new tile and shower – nothing spectacular, but all well done.  Two more bedrooms were on the main level and the upstairs was totally sold for me.  We hadn’t even gone to the lower level yet.  From looking on the assessor’s page, I knew it was 1008 square feet up and 1008 square feet down.  The first house my honey and I owned was 996 square feet.  It was kind of hard to believe that we hadn’t even seen the whole house, yet we were already feeling that it was the right one for us.

The lower level had two largish bedrooms, a laundry room with tile floor, a mechanical room (large) with tile flooring, and another bath with shower.  All the remodeling was consistent and we were still feeling sold.

Then we got to the family room.  Brick fireplace surrounded by floor to ceiling built in book shelves with spot lights and I wanted to fall over.  The family room is HUGE and cool, with three large windows looking out up into the yard.  It was love – and not just for me.  My honey and the kids were ecstatic.

Side note on the family room issue…  I have always wanted to own a house with a basement level family room so when my boys are teenagers they can hang out with their friends down there.  And I live in a place that has several weeks each year that are in the 90s or even 100s.  I want to be able to escape the heat!

Further side note on a house with 5 bedrooms…  It has always been a given for us that my honey would get an office space to house his computer gear and his electronic music gear.  In our current living situation, he is in a open space in the middle of the house and it drives me nuts with all his cords and “stuff” everywhere.  He is building his own web development business and working on his computer science degree, so he needs a quiet space in which to work.  That’s great, but it always left me thinking that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to have my own “studio”.  While I have been in graduate school, my sewing, jewelry making, and creative opportunities have been set aside.  In addition, I manage the family’s finances and control the flow of paper that seems to accompany a child in school.

I really thought that we’d never find a place where I could have my own studio/office because 5 bedroom houses are rare and one in our price range almost unheard of unless it’s in a part of town that would mean a long commute.

So I had this little list in my head about things that I really, really wanted in a house where we would plant ourselves and stay for a long time:

  • Basement with family room (and I always pictured it with built-ins)
  • 5 bedrooms or 4 bedrooms and an office
  • Big, fully fenced yard
  • Big laundry room, with folding table and utility sink

Where did this house come up short (since no house is perfect)?

The laundry room is small and there is no utility sink.  The yard is a devastated wreck filled with gravel and weeds.  And the street adjacent to us is fairly busy, but not too bad.

We got the location we wanted – within biking distance of my work, on the bus route to my work, and a longish walk from the school where my oldest goes, but still just a very short drive.  We got a great price, with no one bidding it up.  We got space for everyone, with it working both now and in several years when the boys are older.  We’ve even got space for family to come visit us and stay with us.

Maybe I’m risking being disappointed by being so excited about this house, but I can’t help it.  For about $100 a month more than we are paying for our rental with the moldy windows (the new house has all new windows), we will increase our square footage by almost 600, have nice carpet that isn’t pulling up in gaping seams, and we’ll have the ability to make the yard into our own little oasis.  All I’m asking is that the home inspection goes well, the financing comes together and our move is free from upset.

Send positive vibes our way because we may have found our home. 🙂

moonfire

 

 

blech.

I don’t want to make toast at 4:30 in the morning, but I got up, coughed a ton more crap out of my lungs, now I’m feeling really queasy.  At least my chest is loosening up quite a bit.  I’m betting I’ll go see my doctor this morning and I’ll be on the path to recovery, so it’ll be a small visit.  Not sure though.  I’m fine if I hold still, don’t talk, and don’t get tense for any reason. 

Headache and now I’ve got a really runny nose.  Good times.  No wonder my husband is staying outside of “germ radius”. 

I got the list of initial items needed for the mortgage application.  Piece of cake stuff.  I can do most of it during the day, while I’m sitting in bed drinking my hot tea with honey (best thing for cough).  The tough part is sitting back, waiting for things to finish up with my credit report.  Much like boiling water or waiting for plants to grow, watching for your statements to cut and balances to update is a slow process.  I’m ridiculously impatient, so this has been especially bad for me.

My honey is in full on packing mode now.  I want to join in, but I’ve already learned that is a major no-no.  If I want to recover and get back on my feet for work (and family), I’ve got to keep my ass in bed.

On a side note, I had a dream I was back in school.  No, this wasn’t one of those “Oh my god, I’ve got 10 assignments due, a test, and I haven’t been going to class!”  It was an “ahhhh, that feels good,” kind of dream and that’s even more worrisome.  Can I really have forgotten what it was like just a month ago?  I don’t think I even got over childbirth that quickly!

I really don’t miss it.  Hell, I don’t really feel like I’ve graduated yet.  Lack of ceremonial tradition?  Lack of diploma in my hand?  Not sure.

Well, the Tums I took seems to be working well.  I’m going to sip juice and go back to sleep.  I’m off work today and tomorrow… Friday is up in the air.  I want to get back and take of things, but I don’t want this bug to linger.  Yesterday I was coughing so violently, I pulled a muscle in my abdomen.  Now THAT hurt.

signing out,

moonfire of the hacking lung

Stage 2 complete

Stages 1 and 2 of the great Moonfire Family House Buying Experience of 2012 are now complete (or at least in motion and doing their thing).

Sounds complex, doesn’t it?  First stage was to get student loans consolidated and into the income-based repayment plan.  The last of mine are being absorbed into the giant teeming mass that is my student loan debt and my payment amount is already set.  Todd’s are trundling along and will be done on May 16.  All will be sorted with them by the beginning of June.

The debt consolidation to reduce the interest rate we’re paying has been done and – this is a miracle – all are showing on my accounts.  Our bank not only came through for us, but did so in an incredibly timely manner, which will mean that all should be reporting on credit reports as needed for the beginning of June as well.

My tiny pay increase will be effective June 9.

Sense the theme here?

This means that the mortgage application process should be restarted close to the beginning of June, but not until everything is reporting as it should and all the dust has settled from April (student loan month) and May (debt consolidation month).

The only small bit of sadness is that the teeny raise I received booted us over the edge for qualifying for the low down payment program with the one bank, but doesn’t help enough to make a big difference each month.  Perhaps sadness is the wrong word.  Perhaps “ironic” is better.

I was already really happy with our bank and the service that they’ve provided to us over the last few years.  This tipped things even further in their favor.  The young guy I dealt with at the branch was really on top of things and answered all of my questions congenially.  The processing was ultra-fast and the rate/terms were excellent.  As I was leaving from the doc signing appointment, I thanked him and told him that he’d just helped us on that path to owning our home.  It was a big moment and he totally understood.

So what’s left before application day?  Monitoring reports and waiting for things to update.  For those that might be slow to report, I’m going to call and ask them to please do an update to the bureaus so we can move forward on our mortgage.  I’m not holding my breath that they will cooperate, but it’s worth a shot!  No matter what I do, it’ll still take a couple weeks to get everything through the reporting process, but once I’ve got the final clear that things are showing properly, I’m calling our loan officer and we’re moving forward.  Our lease ends on 7/31/12 and we’d very much like to be moving before school starts at the end of August.

Will it all work out that way?  Maybe not.  Prices have risen and we’re keeping our price range conservative, even though qualifying won’t be a problem.  Over the course of the past 4 months I’ve managed to cut our monthly payments down by $169, $74, and another $49, for a total monthly savings of $292.  (yeah, it’s been fun)  We’ve been learning how to cut our grocery bill in addition and have been periodically sticking to cash.  There’ve been a couple times that we fell off the “fast food wagon” and that set us back a bit, but we’re trying once more.

Our oldest will be a teenager in just three short years.  In five years, I’ll have two giant boys taking up a lot of space in the household.  We’re thinking ahead and planning so we can buy a home that will last for our.  And we want a place that is less car dependent, with a good lifestyle of walking and being active.

These are important considerations and it pins us down to a fairly narrow area that we’re looking in for a home.  Each piece is starting to come together finally and that is what feels so good right now.

Grant me patience to make it through the waiting and then through the underwriting approval and funding.

oy.

I’m taking my bronchitis suffering butt and getting to sleep.  No more dozing.  It’s time for real sleep.

moonfire