Wednesday, January 27, 2010

mortgage question

So I've been pretty good. Yesterday I filled out the pre-approval application for the lender I picked, and yesterday evening and today I've been hunting down income and asset documentation and emailing it to the lender person lady. (One more email, and all we have to do is wait on the 2009 W2 for my dh's former employer. I'm pretty impressed with myself.)

But then she sent us the disclosure of estimated things that we will have to pay for closing. It included everything possible (i.e., an HOA letter, which we won't need because we won't have an HOA, and an estimate of homeowner's insurance that sounds higher than it would be through our current insurer, and so forth), so it's definitely higher than we'd pay in real life. (Oh, plus she based property taxes on the current assessment, which will plummet as soon as the house has a new sale price.) But the total came to around $12,000. I know it costs some to settle a house, and we could get seller help (we shall see), but that number is without a down payment, and with the VA funding fee financed (rather than paid up-front). So that's a lot.

Anyway, I had a brilliant idea: I would do the online pre-approval application for USAA (the second-best rate people), and then try to compete them against each other. But the USAA application costs $50! I'm happy to pay $15 for a credit check, but $50 seems like a lot. Is it? And should I pay $50 just to have a basis of competition?


Also, I ran 3.5 miles outside yesterday. I was supposed to run inside today, but somehow, it just didn't happen. It has to happen tomorrow, and Friday, or I lose some of my exercise days. Also, it means I still have to do my run. And it's so cold and I don't want to run outside tonight. But I have to. That, and the sewing, and the grocery store run, and the early bedtime - my whole evening is shot and it hasn't started. I hate when that happens.

Oh, BTW, still no fertile CM. I'm on CD18. My dh leaves town in two days. And my scale has apparently decided that it will concede I have lost weight (just a little at a time) only on days I have not gone running. Stupid scale.


  1. Lenders almost always over-estimate, but it still normally falls close in range.

    Is the assessment in your state based on listing price/market value only? I would not automatically assume that the property taxes will go down based on the closing price. I may be way off base because property assessment is completely different in every state and my state is the most backwards of them all when it comes to this, but here all property is assessed once a year in the 3rd quarter and it does not always follow the real estate market (all property is generally assessed a little less than the market value anyway). If you are having your property taxes held in escrow through the mortgage company and your property is assessed once a year (as in our state), your mortgage company is going to use the most current figure because they can’t predict what will happen during reassessment time. Now, if your state assesses based solely on the closing price, well . .. another story.

    I never had to pay an application fee, but if it’s worth it to you, then do it. No problem having them compete for you. Did they tell you how long they could lock in a rate? Ours was for 30 days meaning we had to close within 30 days.

    I am sure you will be able to get some help on seller’s paying part of the closing.

  2. I didn't think mortgage applications cost anything, but I could be wrong. Maybe they do online. I haven't ever gone that route before.

  3. You should get two different offers.

    And yes, closing costs will equal about that. You *can* write in the offer to have the seller pay closing costs. Some times they will, some times they won't. For our current house and for our new house we were lucky enough to have the seller agree to pay our closing costs for us.

  4. Hmmm...I don't know about the $50. I guess I'm wondering how much the amount down would change, unless they are charging you a lot of their own fees. I think we have paid that much for an application, but I could be wrong. That does seem like a lot for closing, but I suppose it depends on the taxes, too. One thing you might want to look into is when the assessment will change for tax purposes. Everywhere I've lived, property tax is assessed once a year or when a house sells, but there's always some lag time. We've always hard to pay the tax for the rest of the year at the time of purchase, so the amount (for us) hasn't changed for several months or more.

    I hope it works out for you!

  5. I think that mortgages are different here in the great white north. We went to a mortgage broker and he got us the best rate when we bought our house. I can't believe that you have to pay to get pre-approval!

    Awesome job on the run. When I was a runner I would hate to run out in the cold! Really, I was a baby about running in any conditions. I can't believe I ran for so long!

    My fertile CM was non-existent last cycle. I have no idea why either. Sorry that yours is still MIA.

  6. Sorry, I can't help you out with the mortgage stuff...I have no clue. Not sure how I got through all of that when we bought our house. Your brilliant idea sounds good to me.

    That is great that you are so motivated to run..cold outside or not. I do my walking in my basement..I'm a whimp. I can't make myself exercise outside. Gosh..I haven't even been to visit my friend's horses since Christmas...too darn cold. Oh should start to warm up soon!

  7. I don't have any mortgage advice, but I hope you can get everything all figured out soon. Sorry your body and scale are being crazy and your DH leaves soon. Good luck on the running; do you have a wii fit? They have a running thing on it that might make running inside more interesting.

  8. $50 to apply? WHAT? Never heard of that...

    Maybe when you run, you've built nice, heavy muscle!

  9. Our property tax didn't change when we bought our house - they only reassess it every few years, so the sale price of the house woudn't affect the property tax (of course, this is MD, so you'd have to research how it works in your area).
    Are you not a USAA meember? I don't remember having to pay for a pre-approval through USAA, but then I don't know if we actually went all the way through and got one since we ended up going with Navy Fed (by far the best rate for us).
    You are completely awesome for running outside. I need to get off my butt and do the same. I don't know why I'm such a wuss about it...

  10. I think we paid 65 to get a pre-approval letter at penfed - you might want to ask how long it is good for our - ours was only 90 days and a 1 time renewal for no charge..For comparison - If you go to their site: and check rates you can see what the fees they charge are. UHM - we didn't need to pull all of that paperwork for the pre-approval - guess that just means more work if we ever find a house to buy? Good luck with the housing - can't wait to see the pictures once you start redesigning the house!

  11. Hmm. I would try to get them to waive the $50, but I guess if they won't, what is $50 when you are about to sign your life away for multiple hundreds of thousands?? ;-)

    And, I agree with Ann- the taxes are based on the assessment, not the last sale price, so while they might go down, a lower sale price won't guarantee that. Our closing costs on this place were about $9k I think...(not including the down payment)

    Keep us posted!

  12. Agree with prayerfuljourney - I really don't know anything about mortgages, but I just wanted to come offer my love and support!

  13. Oh my, I had forgotten about closing costs. ugh. I blocked out all the unpleasant memories having to do with money and buying a house. But now I remember. Yes, closing costs are expensive. Like, close to $10k, as I recall.

    I think in this housing market you could have the seller pay closing costs for you ... or at least try that in your offer. We did in 2006, and that was when things were just *starting* to slow down (and for a house in the city). Alternatively, sometimes sellers will offer to pay your closing costs, but bump up the price of the house $5,000 or $10,000 in exchange ...that way it's less you have to pay upfront but more in the mortage.
    My other impression was that you never really know the closing costs until the day of closing.

    Want to go running on the mall at lunchtime some day? Do you have a gym in/near your office building?

    **I tried to post this and it would not let me, as I was not signed into wordpress, now I am signed in and re-doing it. Please forgive me if it ends up going through three times.**

  14. and with regards to the mysterious peak day... do you do temps and/or ovulation predictor kits too? I don't have the most reliable cervical mucus, so I like to do those two things to back up my other evidence (or lack thereof) of a peak day.

  15. About the closing costs: I did want to come back and mention that if they are a real problem, let your realtor know that your request for closing costs isn’t negotiable. The problem is, of course, you may have to pay more on the purchase than you want.

    On our house, we had 2 offers. The 2nd offer (ended up being the buyers) were using a FHA loan and made it very clear that they had no money for closing. They ended up paying the full purchase price, but we paid their closing which was about $5300 (our property taxes are ridiculously low here and it was a small starter home) so all they brought to the table was their down payment. I’m not saying pay full purchase price (our house wasn’t overpriced), but you just may have to be more flexible on the K price to get FULL closing costs if that’s what you need. I think in this market, just about all sellers are willing to pay some. Our sellers on the current house paid some of closing.

  16. sorry, i'm ridiculously far behind but am thinking of you

  17. Has your friend CM showed up yet? I hope you are doing well. BTW: My new blog address is: was messing around with my blog and figured out how I could change the name but now have realized that my followers can't access it. LOL! I apologize.