In early September I called my bank to see how much I could get pre-approved for to buy a house. Turns out I can afford a house. That was kind of cool.
Andrés & I started house hunting (emailing listings back and forth to each other all day) & we contacted a real estate agent through RealtyPlus.
The original loan I was approved for (just me) was a conventional loan meaning we had to put at least 10% down. We talked and talked and talked and decided to go in on it together with a different lender and with an FHA loan so we could put less money down. With an FHA loan, the monthly payment is higher because it includes hazard insurance and mortgage insurance. By going in on it together, our pre-approval amount was higher, getting us to a comfortable price range for a home in a good area south of the City.
Our loan officer (who is just about my favorite old man ever) helped us explore the option of a VA loan under only Andrés (he was in the Navy & since we’re not yet married, they can’t count my income) because then we could put almost nothing down & actually walk away from closing with a small amount of our earnest money back in our pockets. By applying for a loan using only his income, we are well within our budget because mine wasn’t even considered; I like that. By putting almost nothing down, we can use a portion of our savings to furnish the house (we’re coming from a 500 square foot condo) & to install hardwood floors on the middle level.
So that’s where we are now: a VA loan under only Andrés’ name. He’ll add me to the title later.
After putting down offers on a few older homes that were almost completely renovated, we found the foreclosed townhouse one day after it was listed. We entered a highest & best with several other competitors & our offer was accepted. We’re currently in the process of ratifying the contract with a bank.
The house is lovely.
It’s a brick front end unit townhouse built in 2002, with 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms (one is an en suite master bath) & 2 half bathrooms, a one car garage, & a deck. It’s about 1,800 square feet.
It’s entirely above ground (so the radon level was very low – 0.7 pCi/L – even lower than outside – 1.2 pCi/L – & way less than the EPA action level – 4.0 pCi/L). Because it’s newer, there’s also no lead or asbestos to worry about.
Now we’re just waiting to hear back from the bank.
Our loan officers are trying to get us closed by the end of this month, which is awesome. I hope this works out. Fingers crossed.