Ok, so I’ve mentioned before that we bought a house last year. The process was hell. I expected it to be stressfull and difficult, but not the level at which it ended up. By the time we finally were able to move I was so stressed my doctor was trying to medicate me for high blood pressure.
At the time I thought we’d just gotten particularly unlucky. We ended up with a particularly slimy & swarmy lawyer, the title turned to not be as clear as the seller had thought it was (seriously not his fault, but it took an extra month to fix THAT mess alone), and then there was the bank. I’d THOUGHT that maybe we just got unlucky enough to have ended up with someone who was new to the process handling our loan. That had to be it. Surely no bank would deliberetly treat people like they did us.
Since then I’ve had a few conversations with other Realtors about it, and have come to realize that maybe the way we were treated wasn’t so unusual after all. But this week one of my co-workers drove it home. He’s in the process of trying to buy his first house. Now he does appear to have gotten a better lawyer than we did, and there doesn’t appear to be any problems with the title (yet…..*knocks on wood*), but he’s having the exact same set of problems with the bank we did. Seriously.
Look, I understand in today’s economy that lending out enough funds to buy a house, even a small, inexpensive house, is a risky business. I understand that you want to know every piece of my financial background, work history, and what ever else you can come up with. I get that. But this is the first time I’ve done this and I know you know that cause you made a point of telling me I qualified for all sorts of “first time homebuyer” credits and discounts and whatnot. I also cannot read your mind. If you need specific paperwork by a specific date YOU HAVE TO TELL ME. Preferably BEFORE 24hrs before the specific date. Telling me 2hrs before close of the days business that since I’ve not gotten X documents into you today means that the commitment letter is going to be late and we might not be able to close on time…..just pisses me off. By the time you’ve done it for the 3rd or 4th time my blood pressure headed through the roof. Especially since I’ve been asking you since day 1 if there was anything else you needed from us. Again, and Again…..
I realize that the mortgages discussed here aren’t large by anyone’s standards (except mine as I look at the staggering amount of money I and my husband have to pay off in the next 29 years), so you’re not making as much off them as mortgage for a $200k or $300k (or more) house. But its the buyers like us that CAN buy houses right now. Our credit is better than average, we’ve been in the same decent paying (not high paying, but decent) stable job for several years, and the housing prices are finally down low enough we can afford a decent house. Dispite the economy the housing markets damn near perfect for folks like me, my husband and my coworker.
The bank we financed through was one we’d both had bank accounts with for at least a few years. Once the whole process of buying the house and closing and getting moved was done we moved all accounts except for the bare minimum checking/savings combo out to another bank. The fact that they neglected to send out our commitment letter when they said they were going to (our paperwork apparently sat on someone’s desk for a week before anyone realized that nothing had happened) was simply the last straw. If we ever have to refinance we will be doing it through a different bank.