The Anxiety of Buying a New Home

Applying for a mortgage is nerve racking. The waiting is what kills you.  Everything seems to take forever.  Well, except for the preapproval, that only took a few hours.  However, once that step is over, everything else drags on for what seems like forever. We got our preapproval letter and immediately starting scouring the internet for houses within our budget.  It was difficult due to the housing market right now and homes selling like hotcakes.  Not to mention we are in New Hampshire and we are looking to buy a house in Missouri.  It is not like we could hop in the car and go look at every house we were interested in.

So, I started saving houses as favorites and had a list of potential houses.  Then we decided we were going to take a road trip to Missouri to try to find a house.  I already requested the Friday before labor day off to take my youngest for his road test (YES HE PASSED), so we decided we would take that long weekend and head down there.

The night before we left, we reviewed all the houses I had saved and narrowed it down to three choices. We found a realtor who scheduled all of the appointments for us.  Since the houses were all over the state, she did not meet with us, but she had the seller’s realtor show the houses to us.  We ended up arriving early to Missouri so the first house we saw was for sale by owner.  We just called the couple and were able to look at that house on Saturday.

Of course, it was raining on Saturday so we didn’t explore the 10 acres property, but the house and shop were fabulous.  It was everything we wanted.  So, we talked briefly with the sellers and indicated our interest and even made a verbal offer for asking price.  They said they had other people looking at it the next day and would get back to us.

On Sunday, we looked at two more houses.  The first one was a Victorian style that was built in the 90’s, but they had used materials from a much older home.  It had beautiful crown molding, a turret with a room in it and a huge basement.  The chicken coup outside was huge.  The garage was small, but we could have made it work.  However, the location was just too remote.  Now mid you, if we all could work from home it would have been perfect, but trying to find a job out there, my family would have to drive a very long distance to earn a living.  Unfortunately, we had to scratch it off the list.  We were all really disappointed, but there was no way we could make it work financially.

Then we traveled 2.5 hours west to another small town to look at our last option.  I loved the location and the land, but the house was extremely small and in bad shape.  We would have to put an addition on the house and the kitchen would need a total remodel.  The price was right for the  work that needed to be done, but it would be awhile before it would be what we wanted.

After we looked at the last house, I tried to call the owners of the first house to see if they had made any decisions and left a message.  We had a lot of thinking to do.  We decided to get some food and mull over our options.  We all really loved the first house and were disappointed because hours went by with no response from the owners.  At this point, we needed more options.  Back on the internet, we went trying to find more houses that we could look at.  We knew that if we didn’t find a house this weekend it would be several weeks before I could come back to Missouri and we would have to buy a house sight unseen.  We definitely did not like that option. 

Finally, we found one more house that looked promising.  It looked a little small in the pictures but the shop was huge and it was on a well-traveled road to get the shop up and running.  The plan is for my son and husband to start a mechanic shop.

We drove 3 hours south and our realtor was able to show us this house because it was in her area.  The property was beautiful and the shop was much bigger than anything we needed.  The landscaping was beautiful and it was a cute little log style home.  Then we walked in.  There were ceiling beams that were so low my son couldn’t walk under.  Two small bedrooms on the first floor were the size of closets really.  The other bedroom was a loft that had a ladder to get to it.  The ceiling was slopped so you could only stand up in one area.  I hated it.  It was way too small for our family of 4, plus there were no closets and no storage.  Yes, we could have down sized, but my plan is to can food and buy in bulk, there was definitely no way we would be able to do that.  The realtor kept trying to make suggestions on what we could do to make it livable.  She was suggesting that we take some of the shop space and use that for storage.  We did not want to do that.  We actually stood in that house for a long time talking things through with the realtor.  I was so sad because it felt like we were going to have to settle for something that we didn’t want and if that was the case why would move since that is what we had done when we bought the mobile home we are currently living in.  However, it was already sold and we didn’t have a choice, we have to move.

We finally decided to leave the property and told the realtor we had a lot to think about and would get back to her when we made our decision.  At this point we were so sad and disappointed and just wanted to get home.  We got back in the car and started to drive away when I realized I had a voicemail from the owners of the first house.  I frantically dialed the number and held my breathe until the woman answered.  My husband told the realtor that the owners were on the phone and that we would be in touch if we needed her.

The owners thought we were going to call them today to talk about it more.  They didn’t realize that we wanted to buy the house.  I told her that we absolutely wanted that house and we were so happy that she called.  They accepted our offer!

This is when the waiting starts!  We filled out the sales agreement without any realtors and it was surprisingly easy.  I did have my realtor here in New Hampshire, review it and she made a few suggestions. We all signed it and I sent it to my mortgage company.  My mortgage broker then sent me a few forms to fill out electronically.

I got an email a day or two later indicating the title work and appraisal were ordered. They were working on building my file for conditional approval.  I had no idea what that meant.  What the heck is a conditional approval?  What is it condition?  I asked my mortgage broker what the conditional approval was.  She told me that the conditional approval comes after the file went through underwriting and that a separate email would be sent once it went through underwriting.

Now I am panicking.  Does this mean I could get denied?  Am I not going to get the mortgage?  I was so confused and anxious, so I sent another email.  I asked her if I got a conditional approval and then a final approval?  I needed to know the time line as we are closing on our house in New Hampshire on 10/18/21.  I told her I needed a timeline or a list of the next steps, anything to calm my anxiety.  She sent me an email with the next steps, there were NINE!  We can’t even move on to step two until the appraisal comes back.  The appraiser has indicated that the report should be in by 10/13/21.  That is a month out.  Basically, nothing is going to happen for another month!  I just have to sit here and wait hoping that everything works out and I can get my mortgage.

After the appraisal comes in underwriting reviews all the documents and gives me a conditional approval, which means with everything they have they do not seen any reason to deny my loan.  They determine if there are any conditions that need to be made.  If there are conditions then additional documentation is needed.  Once the documentation is submitted then it goes back through underwriting.  At that point we would be given a clearance to close or more conditions.  This process goes on until there are no more conditions.  The preliminary closing documents are then sent to me  a minimum of three days before my closing date of 10/27.  The closer balances with the title company and then they send the final closing documents to me.  Once I get the final closing details, I need to get a cashier’s check for that amount made out to the title company.

I currently have 26 days until my appraisal is supposed to be back.  Which means I have 26 more sleepless night until I know for sure that I have my dream home.

Wish me luck everyone!  I will keep you posted.  Follow along on my social media accounts for any updates that I get.

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