Brandon and I wanted a conventional, no-surprises kind of loan. I knew that my self-employment would probably be an obstacle, but we were pre-approved for a huge mortgage. Since we weren’t actually going to borrow as much as we could have (because whoa that feels risky), we hoped the process would be easy. Nope!
When we bought our first house in 2007, I was self-employed then too. But those were the days where you could just declare your income with a low doc (or no doc) loan, and be good. You know, those loans that contributed to the whole housing bubble and subsequent crash? Yeah, thankfully the banks aren’t doing many of those anymore.
So we knew the process would be different this time around. We had a lot of equity to go toward a down payment, but to qualify for the mortgage I had to give our full tax returns from the last two years, explain transfers and deposits from the last few months, provide bank statements from all accounts (business checking and savings, personal checking and savings, custodial kids’ accounts), do a choreographed dance routine, and recite a sonnet from memory. Then the market rates changed (for the worse, then for the better again), some documents changed, and I had to do it all over again. That was super fun! We needed help with debt and thus discussed some creative financing options with the lender, but in the end we were able to secure a good rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage. We’re happy. And relieved. (If you’re in the greater Chicagoland area and looking for a mortgage, or to refinance, contact me if you want the name of the woman that helped us. She was fantastic.)
Assuming everything is still on schedule, we’ll close on the house next Wednesday. Looks like my presumptuous “Our Victorian House” category title will hold up!