We are thinking about buying a home in the very near future. I have no idea how this process works, and have a lot of anxiety about it. Can anyone give me a very nice, calm, and reassuring description of how this whole thing goes? Our main issue is that the down payment is coming from a relative through a trust, and I've heard that can cause problems.
Should we use our local bank or go through an online mortgage company? We just want a 30 year traditional mortgage, and would only be financing about 60k. DF makes 35k, I make 20k on paper (my job has a very odd tip allocation process with the IRS, in reality I bring home more than DF), and I receive 500/month in child support. Our only debts are 17k car, 14k student loans, and 2k credit card.
(We found a beautiful mini-farm, in our price range, surrounded by organic farm fields and very close to family and friends. Trying not to get too excited!)
DH and I are also thinking of buying in the next few years. we are just starting to get serious thinking about it. I got a bunch of first time homebuyer books from the library to give me some sort of idea what was involved. I would suggest you do the same. it is ALOT of information!
I'm the same way about big purchases. I drove a super beater car for yeeeeeeeeeeeears because the whole car purchasing process intimidated me so much. We haven't even really started saving for a house yet so we're really just getting the ball rolling and I'm glad I looked into what was all involved. It gave me a pretty realistic idea of what it is going to take, and also let me know there are a gazillion different things to consider and ways to approach home buying. A couple of books are the way to go!
The money you are getting for your house as a gift is easy to take care of, the lawyer with give you a letter that they have to sign that says it was a gift. They do this so people don't borrow money as a down payment. The real estate agents and lawyers take care of a lot of the process for you.
Two things are very important: Buyer's Agent and house inspection. Think of Buyer's Agent as your lawyer, while the selling people have their own lawyer to represent their interests (their listing agent.) Having one agent for both parties can cost you in the long run.
Update - my library doesn't have any recent books about buying a house. I checked out some books that told me all about putting 3% down on brand new houses, and they were the newest editions there.
The loan agent that we spoke to at our credit union didn't forward any of our info (except our phone number, apparently) to the mortgage center, so I just spent half an hour reciting everything over the phone to them, only to find out that we have to have 5% of our own money. Which would have been nice to know before. We can get it no problem, but the whole phone call was just irritating. She wasn't even verifying info that she already had, she didn't have ANY of it.
AND, we got ourselves into an awkward situation with our close friends bidding on a house that we had looked at.
I'm about ready to say F it and move into the bunkhouse at our family farm.