My husband and I are in the process of buying a new house, which necessitated going through the mortgage process.
The last time we obtained a mortgage it was for a second home in another state and that was BEFORE the mortgage market took a tumble and things got, shall we say, a little uglier.
So, I warned my husband, be prepared - because THIS time it isn't going to be so easy.
I've heard the horror stories, read the articles, heard people talk about just how bad it is out there. How hard it is to get a mortgage, how difficult it is to go through the process without feeling violated. How the banks are looking for any reason not to lend.
PLUS, we are both self-employed, have a Subchapter S corporation for another small business we own and well, we just knew this all spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e.
So, when the day finally came we actually found a house we could agree on (for more details about a one year home search, read the post regarding my worst clients ever), we knew what we had to do.
Apply for a mortgage.
We spent a few hours scanning and assembling every document we could think of: tax returns, bank account statements, investment statements, mortgage statements for other properties, copy of the earnest money deposit check - you name it, it was scanned. We were as ready as we could be.
We completed the application and dutifully waited for the document requests to come in. We made sure we put a few hours aside so we could turn the documents around as soon as they were requested.
Then we waited. Waited for some obscure request. Some ridiculous demand for some piece of paperwork we had not seen for years.
But it didn't happen. In fact, in what seemed like an absurdly short amount of time, we received an email from our loan officer, which said, "You're clear to close."
Huh? Really? But don't you need anything else? Anything at all? We have it! We're ready for you. We have more information, really!
It seemed almost surreal - it was a completely painless process.
I admit part of it was because we were so well prepared - and isn't that the advice we give all of our clients? Don't make it hard on yourself - see your lender EARLY, get your documents together and make sure they are complete, address any credit issues BEFORE they have a chance to derail your mortgage and be responsive to your loan officer and his or her processor. After all, you are asking the lender for hundreds of thousands of dollars - and they sorta want to know you're good for it.
I have to give major credit to our loan officer, Sam Atapour of Prosperity Mortgage (disclaimer: yes, this is a joint venture between my brokerage, Long & Foster and Wells Fargo). He was always cheerful, confident and upbeat. In fact, even with my most challenging buyers, he keeps a positive "can do" attitude which does wonders to calm a nervous client. He also has an incredibly efficient assistant and awesome processor, whom he credits with being the key to his success. (Did I mention he is also humble?)
So, my fears were completely alleviated and I have new found confidence in the system...it doesn't have to be a horror story, as long as you have a great mortgage team on your side and you do YOUR part, as well.