Just as I would do for any of my clients, I had included a few clauses to protect myself from making a purchase I didn't want because of the following reasons A) I couldn't actually afford it B) The home wasn't in the condition I was made to believe it was or C) I couldn't get insurance.
First, I make a couple calls around to banks and Mortgage companies to see if I can pre-qualify. Turns out, if you own your own business and have been at it for less than two years, it proves to be VERY difficult to be taken seriously. Doesn't matter how low the mortgage payments are. Although I was denied by every bank even if I had a fabulous credit score (over 800), I did get some hope from a few private lenders. I gave them all of my income details and let them get to work.
Time to dig deeper... I book the home inspector and call my Dad to make sure I get both their approvals before I move forward with financing. I was scared to show my Father what I had bought. It was smelly, it was dirty, it was old and it was small, BUT I could see myself making it my perfect first home. I went through every room with him explaining my vision and my plans to gut the kitchen and bathroom. He looked at me with excitement, knowing that I was probably biting off more than I could chew. He knew my ideas were a stretch and that all these renos would quickly add up. I'm sure he could have easily convinced me not to buy if he wanted to, but he was letting me spread my wings. His little girl was growing up and I had to do it MY way.
WHERE THE HELL IS THE HOME INSPECTOR??? An hour and a half late? I told him I had an appointment at noon and it's already 10:30am?!?! THIS HOUSE NEEDS A THOUROUGH INSPECTION! 11am he shows up. Instead of getting to work, he complains about the small crawl space and how he has to go put his work clothes on (Shouldn't you show up in work clothes?!?!) Then, he proceeds to talk to my family for a half hour only to come back to me and say "Why the hell do you want to buy this place anyway?" REALLY? Because it's what I can afford!!! Who says that? Needless to say, in a half hour inspection, not much was determined that I didn't know. I got a one page typed Word document and a hefty $250 bill. I was livid and needless to say, I will NEVER recommend that home inspector to ANYONE. Luckily for me, my business partner had suggested that I bring in a contractor to quote me what it would cost to lift the house and do the reno's I had in mind. The contractor went through the house with me, gave me suggestions, pointed out the faults and gave me a fabulous quote. If ever I buy another house that needs renos like this one, I will opt out of a home inspector and grab my contractor instead. It saves a step. Because I had to replace a beam which I hadn't priced out in my offer price, I went back to the table with a $5000 adjustment to my offer price. They agreed and we moved forward. House was mine for $135,100! :)
Now for Financing. WORST. EXPERIENCE. EVER! After jumping through hoops and getting letters from my employers and current money made to date that year, they give me the go ahead to remove my conditions. I got approved for 5% down, 3.29% interest amortized over 30years. EXACTLY what I wanted. But sadly it was too good to be true.
3 days before closing I get a phone call to tell me that my financing has been denied. WHAT?!?! THEY CAN DO THAT? Apparently, there was a clause in one of the 30+ pages I signed that allowed them to pull out at any point. They had decided that three days before closing was a good time. To make matters worse, both my mortgage brokers were away on vacation at the same time. I was a mess. There was no way I could pay the 25% they now required me to put down. Not in three days?!? How can they expect a 27 year old single female to have that kind of money when I was originally accepted at 5%. What frustrated me the most was that they knew the ins and outs of my bank accounts and knew that I wasn't in a financial position to do it.
Now, the scary part is this. I can't walk away at this point. I had already firmed up 3 weeks ago. This is how people get sued. They could of kept my deposit and they could have sued for their expenses and lawyers fees. I was a mess. FINALLY my brokers get back and admit that they had messed up. So much so, that they fronted me the money for 2 weeks to find another way to pay for the home. They promised that in that time they would find me a reasonable mortgage. This helped me in two ways. It gave me the chance to shop around and it let me live rent free for two weeks :) That being said, it put a lot of pressure on me as I now only had 2 weeks to pay back $125,000. The private brokers told me they would find me a better deal but after a week of them not returning my calls, I knew I was getting messed with and that if I didn't do something myself, I could be faced with a lawsuit in a weeks time. Panic was starting to take over and I was running out of time. Lucky for me, I went with my gut feeling and looked elsewhere for re-financing. Meridien Credit Union came through. They not only got me the best rate I could find, but they also had the lowest down payment (10%) and worked hard to meet my deadline.
At last, the house was mine! But as if this process hadn't caused me enough frustrations and stress, turns out, my lawyer was treating this as two completely separate transactions and I got hit with DOUBLE the lawyer fees! Horrible way to finish off this rollercoaster ride, but I was happy to get off and get started with what I had been after this whole time... Turning it into MY home.