My husband and I were on one side of the desk, and the builder was on the other. We were buying our first house together. I said, “We need the payment to be $500 a month because we’re paying $400 now and I know we can afford $500. I don’t mean $520 or $550. I need it to be $500.” After all, I knew exactly what I wanted and what we could afford to pay, and I wasn’t planning on budging an inch.
The builder leaned back in his chair, took a deep breath, and then said something that shocked me. “Darling, your payment is going to be $530, and if you’re worried about 30 bucks, you ain’t ready to buy a house.” I was insulted at first, but as I let it sink in, I realized he was right and I needed to be flexible to get exactly what I wanted. As a first-time home buyer, I didn’t know all the variables, and I needed to be more flexible in my approach.
Lesson: As a borrower, remember to be a little flexible.
Embrace Being a Flexible Buyer
Imagine finding the romance you had always been searching for, but they had blonde instead of brown hair. Would you lose the opportunity to spend the rest of your life with your soulmate because reality is slightly different than what you pictured in your head?
When it comes to the proposed payment, flexibility is vital. If you need flood insurance and that policy will push you a few dollars over what you wanted to pay, will that be a dealbreaker or will you dedicate yourself to making it work?
Having home insurance is a given, but the type and cost of the policy will vary depending on the age, size, and style of your house. The list of variables is long and detailed. Your job is to be educated.
It’s not uncommon for lenders to only give clients the principal and interest amount, while never mentioning the various taxes and insurance costs. Online calculations are notorious for this. As an informed consumer, you’ll make sure that your total includes the principal, interest, and property tax, plus all required home and mortgage insurance estimates. Don’t forget homeowner association (HOA) dues, if applicable. At the same time, do allow for a slight margin of error. The loan officer is predicting all the variables–the location of your home, the exact cost, and so on. Remaining flexible, checking for missing items, and asking questions are key ingredients of good teamwork, which we explained in our last blog post, is essential.
How else can I help you? Do you need to know any of the following?
- Essential steps to buying a house
- Financing for first time homebuyers
- How to buy a house
- How to secure a mortgage with no down payment
- Tips for first-time home buyers
- How to pay a mortgage off quickly
- Home purchase process advice
If so, stay tuned to this blog and feel free to reach out to me with questions. I want to help guide you towards home loan success, and enable all of your home and property-related dreams to come true, even if it means being flexible along the way.