Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Consider that box checked!

This afternoon we attended what had better be the last little hoop we need to jump through before our closing! Our "home ownership counseling session" was quick (thankfully!) and painless, but relatively pointless.

To recap, basically banks and lenders and underwriters and everyone else who has their fingers in your home-buying pot want to make sure that you won't default on your loan and that you understand the concept of what it means to own a home, and oh by the way, be sure you pay your mortgage on time! Because everyone who wanted a house was rubber-stamped a few years ago ended up foreclosing on their home, banks are now trying to protect their investments in you by making it harder for you to purchase a home, especially if you're a first-time buyer like we are. In addition to providing enough paperwork to kill off six acres of the Amazon rainforest, most first-time home-buyers now have to attend a counseling session so they fully understand the weight of owning a home. For us, this session was nothing more than a formality and a waste of an afternoon.

We got there and after providing all the paperwork we had to provide the lender and complete a monthly budget worksheet, we ended up needing none of it. Our session lasted approximately one hour and the nice man from the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council gave us our form. He started the session by stating that buying a home takes approximately 2 years and you should start the process now if you'd like to buy by the end of 2011, just FYI. He said that owning a home starts with saving money (duh) and paying down debt (also understood) and basically making sure that all your ducks are in a row. Then he walked us through the process: first you bid on a home, then the offer is accepted, then you have an attorney review and home inspection, then you provide them with lots of paperwork, then it goes to underwriting, then you close. All of this we knew, so aside from reviewing the truth-in-lending statements and good faith estimate with us, I didn't really find it to be beneficial at all. Oh well, at least it's done!

Now that our session has been completed and we have our certificate, we can send it on to the lending agent and they can finally get all our paperwork to the underwriter. Once we hear that it's in the underwriting stage I probably won't sleep until we get that piece of paper that says we've been cleared. We heard it again today, but the underwriters are the people who can make or break your loan approval. Our lending agent reminded me again last week that there's no reason to worry, but I'm still nervous that we'll get someone who's having a bad day and they'll require another small mountain of paperwork before we can be cleared to close. I'm trying to think happy thoughts like Peter Pan, but I'm a control freak and this is completely beyond my control and it's making me a little crazy.

Now, before I start twitching again....something happier. :-D

I haven't worked since Friday! Isn't that awesome? I came into work on Monday and found out that the bathrooms were down at school. The whole plumbing system was jacked up including in the church, rectory, and school, so my boss had no choice but to close the school until Wednesday morning. I was only *a little* bummed. Truth be told I didn't feel ready to work on Monday, so having a few extra days to collect myself was awesome. Heck, had my boss just cancelled classes on Monday and we had gone back today--that would have been swell too! But two days? Sweet Mama, that was just a lovely little gift. Unfortunately we'll probably have to make them up, which is kind of a bummer. But if we do, I have suggestions ready for our faculty meeting on Wednesday! Even if no one likes them, I'm not gonna go down without a fight.

So today, I worked from home. It was an interesting experience, that's for sure. Maybe it's because I know that it's not something I'd ever do or something that would work for me, but I kept getting distracted. I allowed myself to sleep late (which was lovely, might I add!) and I actually made breakfast instead of popping a bagel in the toaster and eating it quickly as I get dressed in a wild, one-handed attempt at looking presentable for the day. I also found that in terms of getting things ready for the alumni and development scope of my job, I'm more productive in the mornings. That's a good thing to know for the future!

Ultimately, working from home was a nice change of pace, and it's great to know I can work from home in the next few weeks once moving and painting and unpacking takes over my life. It was nice to work in my pjs for a few hours. But, I know me and I know my weaknesses, and working from home isn't something that would be good for me as a permenant solution. I rely way too much on basic social interaction. If the only person I saw consistently everyday was the mailman, I'd start pulling my hair out! This was a nice change of pace, if only for a day.

So that's where we are. We're basically a week away from closing now that we've turned in everything they've asked of us (still no word on the blood test). Once the underwriter gets at everything, hopefully it won't take too long and we can close and get some keys and start the next chapter of our life together. (Please, it's me! Like I'd miss any chance to make a book reference!)

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