In January of 2009, my husband & I decided to try to get a loan to purchase a home. We had two friends that had been pre-approved for a home loan, young like us so we asked ourselves, "Why not us?"
I got in touch with a family friend who referred me to a loan officer working for Country Wide. She told me that I was pre-qualified on my own. My husband doesn't have the best credit so we figured that was good news.
We started looking around at houses, had offers on a couple that just didn't work out then found the (1st) home of our dreams!! Beautiful, 1 story house in Goodyear, Arizona. Perfect for us & our children. It really sounded too good to be true, & we later found out why.
We made our offer, they accepted…(THEY being Fannie Mae) & we started the process of getting this house to be ours.
We paid the inspection fee: $295.00, the earnest deposit: $1000, & the appraisal/credit report fee: $490.00.
We were supposed to close on March 11th & we thrilled to be first time home buyers about to buy such a beautiful home! Another plus was the $8, 000.00 credit for first time home buyers we thought was going to come our way!
Come March 9th, we receive a phone call from our realtor saying that they needed more time. He & the loan officer just got off the phone & they weren't going to be done by the 11th. We needed to sign an addendum for more time.
What I forgot to mention: The property manager for Fannie Mae was just a jerk. He said that if it went past March 11th, he was going to charge us $100 a day. & If it didn't go through, that he was going to keep out earnest deposit. We also found out in the mid-of everything that though I was pre-qualified on my own, Arizona is a community property state & that my husband's not so great credit was going to affect everything. After we had paid the $1800+ to everyone (title company, inspector, Country Wide) they said we absolutely needed a co-signer. If we did not get a co-signer, we were going to lose the deal & the $1800 we put into it already would have been a waste.
We got my parents to co-sign. My father has immaculate credit. They said everything was good, everything was GREAT & that we would be in the house! So AFTER March 11th, came & went, the loan officer said she just couldn't get us the deal. We tried 2 other mortgage companies & they couldn't do anything for us either. We lost $1800+ & a great house.
I work for an insurance company making $42, 000 a year & have worked with my company for 2 years now. I have a great job & benefits. I have a very limited credit history. I don't have bad credit, just not enough. After this whole ordeal, I tried calling back the title company & no one returned my calls. I contacted the BBB. They have yet to answer my calls & emails. I guess everyone is just busy spending my money & laughing about "The poor fools that thought they were going to buy a house."
By the way, our friends that were pre-qualified before us, they bought their home. The two of them together make less than me, they don't have good credit & are about to lose their house. They've only been living in it for two months.
I cannot fathom the thought of why the government let them buy a house they couldn't afford because they had more credit, not better, just more credit than I do. & I, my husband & I, can afford a house right now with the homes for sale in AZ but couldn't get a home. & COULD NOT for the life of us find someone that could help us! That is what bothers me the most!
We were only told that I need to build my credit. Can you take a guess as to how many times I've applied for a credit card? (This would be my first credit card by the way.) They all said I had too many inquires on my credit within the last 6 months. Funny, & the loan officer told me all mortgage inquires would show as 1 inquire if they were from within 30 days. I don't think so.
So now, I am pretty much f*cked. It's ridiculous how this effed up government works & how there is NO HELP!
The moral of this story, please know that a pre-qualification is NOTHING. Don't be fooled, read about everything that involves the home-buying process. If something doesn't feel right to you, listen to your instincts. Our friends are about to lose their home because their loan officer fooled them into thinking they could afford their house. We know of another couple that just got their keys a few days ago, & we know they will lose their house too. Make sure everything is calculated correctly. Ask all the questions you need to, to feel comfortable with your decision. & If you find your "dream" home, don’t over pay! There are plenty of homes right now for sale, especially in Arizona for GREAT prices! What my husband & I have learned is that, once we are able to buy a home, we aren't going to go for the AMAZING home of our dreams what we can barely afford, we are going to buy the best deal on the cutest house & MAKE it our dream home! :)
I hope someone can learn something from our mistakes.