Starting the process of buying a home has been stressful. As
Greg put it, “You never really know when
the process has started.” I think I consider the process started now
that I’ve made first contact with a mortgage broker.
I started out this morning at 10:10a by leaving a message with the
assistant to a mortgage broker,
Beth, who a friend of mine
recommended. I was told Beth would call back at 11:00a.
At 11:35a I started getting impatient, and after talking to Greg and
figuring I should talk to three or more mortgage brokers (to really shop
around), I put in a request with
MortgageDesignGroup.com to get in
touch with one of their brokers. From their web site, it’s looking like
I can get a 30 year loan at 5.5% - 6.125% and get around $185,000 for
$1050 - $1124 a month (without insurance or taxes).
11:55a - Marty called me up and referred me to a broker named
Ann who he’s worked with several
times. Went online and got her contact info. Decided to call her after
It’s looking like rates at Oregon Telco for a
30 year loan will be about 5.5% on a 30 year fixed loan.
1:25p - Beth finally called back. I gave her some information and she’s
going to call me back tomorrow with some numbers.
1:45p - Left a message with Ann. She’ll call back.
2:35p - Ann called. She’s probably the most helpful person I’ve talked
to so far and after talking to a couple of people, it turns out everyone
who works with NW Mortgage Group is
happy with their service.
It seems there are a few ways to go with this loan. I can put less than
20% down on the house and pay mortgage insurance; I can be
“self-insured” by putting at least 20% down; or I can do some “creative
loan manipulation” and get an 80% first mortgage, 10% second mortgage,
and put 10% down (or 80/15/5, or whatever). With the third option, you’d
have the same monthly payment, but you’d be paying towards two different
loans and wouldn’t have to have mortgage insurance.
Sounds like, assuming an arbitrary guess for taxes and insurance, for a
monthly payment between $1300 and $1500 a month (including the
taxes/insurance), I could get between $193,000 and $220,000 with a 5%
down payment on a 30 year loan. To get some firm costs, though, I need
to settle on a loan amount and figure out how long I’m planning on
staying at the house.
Now I need to start comparing one broker to another. According to Ann,
you need to get what’s called a “Good Faith Estimate” from each broker
which lays out the fees and such. Then you can compare apples to apples
(so to speak) and see who’s actually getting you the better deal.
It’s starting to sound like a catch-22, though. I can’t get a firm loan
cost until I decide on a house, but it’s hard to really get a house
until you know how much you can afford.
I’ll wait to hear back from Beth tomorrow and see what she says. I’m
hoping to hear back from MortgageDesignGroup.com, too, to see what they
recommend. Pending on what they say, I’ll probably get ahold of all of
them to get those “Good Faith Estimates” and start comparing brokers.
At this point, I’m leaning towards Ann, though. She called me back
quickly, she was the most helpful, and she spent the time to work things
through with me. Doesn’t hurt that I’ve heard recommendations from three
different people for them.