Saturday, March 21, 2009

Coyotes in the Night

Tonight I hear so many dogs and coyotes calling that it's hard to count them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Good news...and more good news!

Okay, the first and best news: I don't currently have any signs of ARVD, so I'm off the hook for about 2 years. Two years isn't that long of a reprieve, but I'm so relieved to know that everything appears to be okay. It's like having a potential prison sentence delayed.

The second and still really good news: I have a date on Friday! I'm letting my hopes get too high this week that it might be a good date. However, the way I'm looking at it is, chances are, the date will end up sucking and the anticipation will have been the best part. So, I'm letting myself be giddy for 2 more days.

I have also selected a lender for my home purchase. I ended up talking to 6 people in total, and went with the one who I liked financially as well as personality-wise. I am going with Countrywide, which is in the process of being bought out by BofA.

I selected this gal because
1. she was friendly and not condescending
2. she was proud of the work she'd done for her other clients
3. she enjoyed telling me how she watches the rates very closely and locks in when they're at their lowest (she locked in some 4.25 rates back around Thanksgiving - the rate was only that low for about 30 minutes and she was on it!)
4. she says that she'll work with me on the closing costs to make them be what I need them to be
5. our personalities work well together
6. she brought in a rate among the lowest
7. it only helps that she says that BofA is buying them out - I always liked BofA
8. she is local and seems to know plenty about the business in this area

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shopping for a Mortgage

This last week I have started to talk with lenders about a mortgage. I used Lending Tree and I also asked friends to refer me to their banks/brokers.

It has been an interesting process so far. I have received four responses and none of them are exactly alike. There are 30 year conventional loans, loans with origination fees, FHA loans, etc.

But, what I've learned a few things.

First, some brokers and lenders can get lower rates than others. Period.
I compared a conventional bank's rates for the same day to another lender's and saw a .375% difference. That is money - my money - and I care. If you can't get me the lowest rate, we probably won't play ball.

Second, rates change quickly (especially in this market).
If you have to get quotes, do yourself a favor and tell the lender, I would like to get a good faith estimate based on interest rates current at (date and time). That way, you can see what rates all of the places have, side by side. If you get some quotes one day, and then a few more a couple days later, the market may have changed enough that the rates are different for all of the lenders.

Third, the lender's fees are what you are really going to be comparing (right after the mortgage type, if you have points or origination fees).
This is the place on the estimate is referred to as the 800's. (All of the lenders fees fall onto lines in the 800 numbering range.) One lender might have fees of $1120 total, bottom line. Another might have fees of $1650. The only difference is that one is taking a bigger commission for themselves. Keep your good faith estimate, they should stick pretty close to these charges.

And last, don't be afraid to ask.
Ask questions, even if they make you uncomfortable. Ask what this fee is, and what exactly it's for. You will probably get an honest answer. If it's easier for you, I would recommend emailing the lender, so you can phrase things very nicely.

Wait, this will be last thing. If a lender doesn't have the right kind of customer service attitude - dump them.
There is simply no reason, especially in this market, for a person in a customer service oriented job to not offer good customer service. I don't like when people assume I know nothing or provide a half-assed quote because they can't be bothered.

The players so far in my quest for quotes are:
Cherry Creek Mortgage Corporation
Bank of the West
RMC Vanguard Mortgage Corporation
Southwest Direct Mortgage

Joining the game soon:

Friday, March 06, 2009

House Shopping

I'm going house shopping tomorrow!

Ok, realistically, I'm probably more condo/townhouse shopping, but hey, it's all good.

I've been waiting for this day to come for so long. I thought it would have come sooner, but I'm afraid I took a detour called marriage a while back.

I'm so excited! I know that the places I'll be looking at won't be too terribly beautiful or nice, but I don't care. I'm going to try to remember to take photos of the places for my memory, so maybe I'll post them up here. Just think, by the time my lease is up at the end of July, I could be the proud owner of my own little spot on earth.

And just to make sure I start my day off right, after I visit with my friends, I'm going to get a massage. I'm a very happy girl!