On The Road To Buying A House: Getting The Loan

Today was the day we have been working towards for the last couple of months–the lender called to tell us we will be closing on our house on Thursday! Even though we already knew the loan was approved, because they had still been calling or emailing us several times a day needing this or that additional piece of paper, we were still not convinced it would actually happen!

When the phone call came, I was busy writing down the name and address of the closing attorney, so we’d know where to go and when to be there. I hung up and told Fabgrandpa the news, and he started grinning from ear to ear. While he has owned mobile homes, and two travel trailers, he has never owned a house before. He said he was “stunned” that it is really going to happen!

After we close, we are going to put in an RV hook up first, so that we can live in the RV in the back yard while we take our time buying furniture. We have to go to work in Arizona again in April, so we have pretty much decided not to buy much before we go. It will be less to worry about while we are gone, and give us something to do next winter. (I’d like to just rest a bit. This house buying stuff is hard work!)

So, Thursday night we are going out to dinner and a movie with our daughter, Emily, to celebrate our new status of “homeowner”.

On The Road To Buying A House: Pre-Approval For A Mortgage Loan

Today we got the phone call we have been waiting for! The lender called to tell us that we are pre-approved for a loan, in the amount we were asking for. We have both been so anxious, and not sleeping well because of it, while we waited this out. Again, we know we are an exception to most rules because we have worked seasonal jobs for the last eleven years. We had to get our employer to state that we have a job to come back to in the spring. I can really understand a lender being cautious with lending to someone who works seasonal jobs, but they can see that we have paid our bills on time for more than eleven years. We may only work half a year, be we ARE responsible people.

So, the next step is to start looking at houses. We have an appointment with the real estate agent in the morning to look at one in Carrollton. We have looked at this house online, and it looks really good. Because we are buying with a VA guaranteed loan, everything in the house has to pass VA approval. This particular house meets with most of our criteria: A flat, ranch type house with at least two bathrooms, a carport, and a yard big enough to park our RV in AND in an area with no restrictions for doing so. We don’t especially want to be in a subdivision, but even though this one is, the houses aren’t jammed right up against each other.

I’ll be taking pictures of the houses we look at, and if they don’t meet our expectations, I’ll tell you why. Y’all keep your fingers crossed that this looking process doesn’t take forever.

On The Road To Buying A House: Pre-Approval For A Mortgage Loan

houses for sale in georgia, getting pre-approved for a loan

We would love to have a house like this one.

I really don’t have anything new to report as far as the progress towards getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan.  When we went for the first meeting with the lender on November 1, we asked how long it would take to get our pre-qualification letter. The answer was “In most cases, you will have your pre-approval in just a couple of days.” Well, it seems we are not your everyday mortgage applicants.

For one thing, we work seasonal jobs. And those seasonal jobs are with the U.S. Government. And you know how long it takes to get paperwork flying with the feds.  The mortgage representative we are using send the forms to both of our supervisors last week. But then there was a federal holiday. Yesterday, I called Fabgrandpa’s supervisor and left a message telling him we need for him to fill out that form ASAP. He is being transferred to a National Park in Michigan, and his last day for work at the North Rim is Friday. He called me back later in the day, and filled out the paperwork while I was on the phone with him.

The second thing is, since we live fulltime in an RV, we change our address frequently. We have been living and traveling in an RV for going on 12 years. We are hoping that any potential lender can see that we have a good credit score, pay our bills on time, and would be a good credit risk in spite of our lifestyle.

One other thing that has slowed this process down is that the day we went to our first meeting, a work crew was digging on the main road through town, and cut a  major communications cable, and the internet service to the office was down for three days. While that was not the fault of the mortgage company, it still added some days to the process.

Now, as far as I can tell, the mortgage company has everything they need to make a decision. It has been two weeks since our first visit, so I hope we hear something soon.  We can’t even go to look at houses until we get that letter from the lender.

On The Road To Buying A House: Pre-Approval For A Mortgage Loan

Yesterday afternoon was consumed by finding, printing, and making copies of that list of paperwork the lender asked us for. It seemed to grow by leaps and bounds. And wasn’t I unpleasantly surprised, when I went looking for my 2010 Federal tax return. I had it prepared and ready to go last April, but when I dug it out of the file box, guess what? I NEVER MAILED IT IN! I got on the internet, thinking I could just do an e-file, only to find that the last day for e-filing a tax return was OCTOBER 19. Just to make sure I couldn’t e-file, I called a tax preparation company in town,and was told nope, too late.  I took it to the post office yesterday. Can’t wait to see what the penalty for that will be.

This morning, we got up early and drove to Carrollton, about 14 miles away, to go to the Social Security Administration. While I am a keeper of paper, I looked through all of the filing places in this dang trailer, and could not find the award letter from them. I found everything else from them, except the one piece of paper we needed. I THINK that what happened is that we got that letter about the same time that I was supposed to be mailing out the income taxes in April, but then we had to pack up and leave our camp host volunteer job early due the budget thing going on in Washington. That is the only explanation I can think of, and MAYBE we left before that form was received in the mail. Who knows?

Anyway, it was just a short drive to the Social Security Office in Carrollton. We got there and it was not crowded. Fabgrandpa walked, got a copy of his letter, and we were on our way in less than 10 minutes. We stopped off at the lender’s office on the way home and dropped off all the papers. Now we wait.

On The Road To Buying A House: Pre-Approval For A Mortgage Loan


Waiting to talk to the lender

Fabgrandpa and I have been talking the talk about buying a house for a couple of years now. Remember this, and this, and this? We talked about a lot of things between us since January, and today, we walked into the lender’s office to start the ball rolling to be pre-approved for a mortgage loan. At this point in time, we don’t have a clue where that ball is going to stop, but we are looking a wide circle in west Georgia. What kind of house we buy is really going to depend on how much house we can afford, just like anyone else who is looking. We know what we WANT, which is a ranch style house with 3 bedrooms, at least 1.5 bathrooms, a carport, and 2-5 acres, not in a subdivision. Out in the country some but not too far to go shopping if we want to. It just feels like the right thing to do for us right now.

That's a pretty big area to be looking

We went to look at a house the other day, just for fun, because the address was on Happy Hill Road, and I thought it would be fun to say that whenever someone asked for my address. The yard was beautiful, but the house–a D.U.M.P! Oh, well, we can be happy just about anywhere but apparently NOT on Happy Hill Road.

So, the process has begun, and I am up to my eyeballs in paperwork already. To start off the application process to be pre-approved for a home loan mortgage, you need to come prepared with the following paperwork: (at least with THIS lender, I would call ahead to be sure what your lender wants)

2 years federal tax returns (1040’s)

2 years W-2 forms for each person

Each person’s most current paycheck stubs

2 months bank statements

If you get social security, then you need to provide a copy of your award letter from social security

If you are a veteran, a copy of your DD-214

If you are a veteran, a copy of your VA Loan eligibility certificate

This paperwork pile will probably reproduce itself overnight. I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow!