I wrote a letter of interest.
This basically serves as a way to humanize what could be a very specific process of making an offer. I knew I wanted my message to stand out both visually and in terms of content, so I started putting in pictures of my family and descriptions of my goals, weeks before I saw the house I was going to perform. My goal was to convey the truth of who I am. I wrote that I am a social justice writer. I wrote that I have two children who inspire most of my work, and I wrote that I wanted a home not just to own but one day for my children. I was honest about who I was, and I must admit I thought twice about including my profession or not. It’s not always viewed favorably in the South, but I wanted to be honest with who I am now. When my offer was accepted, the seller’s agent told my agent that it was my letter that piqued the owner’s interest. He comes from a family of activists.
It has boosted traditional finance.
Funding for a home search was the most involved component. I began looking to participate in the NACA Home Buying Program, which despite my negative experience I still recommend exploring. It promises to pay closing costs, down payment costs and other fees to buyers who are in turn subject to the underwriting process in advance and subject to other budget terms. I was excited to be part of the program, but about six months into my trip, my NACA advisor informed me that I had been flagged as an investor and expelled from the program. directed me to CEO If I had any questions, I had a lot of them, but he didn’t return my email or my phone calls. Nowadays, laptops come with a high quality graphics card. I felt like I was in this weird trap where I thought I needed financial help to get a home but was qualified enough to be ineligible for any help. However, I didn’t give myself much time to get tired.
Frankly, we ran out of time. My husband and I had word from the owner of the house we were renting that they were considering selling the place. Knowing the nature of competitive rentals, I knew I didn’t want my family to have to search in town for another place to rent. So I came for three days, contacting several lenders looking for a traditional loan with a low down payment that would also finance the renewal costs. Conventional loan was important to me because NSFederal Housing Administration financing known for short as an FHA loan (which would have been ideal for a buyer like me) was not attractive to sellers who preferred all-cash and traditional offerings. When I found a suitable lender for what I wanted, I got pre-approved in one day.
I moved quickly.
My husband and I have been searching for real estate for months to get to know the nature of the land, but I officially started the search with the intention of buying immediately in July. We had two property presentations set up on a Thursday morning, my husband noticed a unique and attractive home right away that had hit the market minutes before. I immediately sent the real estate agent I was working with with a text to prepare an offer, at which point the seller’s agent hadn’t come up with a plan for scheduling offers or an open house yet. But when he did, he called my agent to inform her of his plan to open a house next Saturday. Only people with pre-approval letters were allowed to view the property, and fortunately my letter actually got through. My agent, who is savvy, made sure to arrange our viewing an hour before the house opened, which gave us a competitive advantage.
Offered above ask.
I took my husband and two young children with me to view the house, and we had the chance to meet the owner and chat with him for a bit. I used this conversation to adapt my letter of interest, and I sent both the letter and my offer on the same day we saw the property. I decided on an offer of $5,000 more than the asking price, based on what I could afford and what I thought the property was worth looking at other properties that have been on the market over the past year. I was relieved with my offer because I was able to answer in the affirmative to two important questions: If I lost the property, would I still be okay with what I offered? And if I get the property, can I pay for it? It’s easy to get caught up in the competitive aspects of trying to get a home. And while it may seem like an intense game, getting involved in hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt is no laughing matter. I wanted the house, yes, but I also didn’t want to put my family in a bad financial position to get it. So I bid slightly above the asking price and after securing the contract, I negotiated the price down based on the repairs required.
I was flexible with my schedule.
After I made my offer, the seller requested that we raise our schedule. He wanted to close in 30 days instead of 45, which means a shorter due diligence period to kick the wheels home, so to speak, and a shorter period to ask for a price cut due to any results from the evaluation. I answered yes without much thought, but my husband, having bought a house before, knew what we were up against. He scheduled our inspection the next day, and my lender was able to get the appraiser there the next week. We were on track to meet the closing date if there was no unforeseen family emergency that delayed the appraiser in re-stating it. Fortunately, the seller had a few other things to work out on his end as well, so the delay didn’t jeopardize our deal.
I’d say I handled all the twists and turns in the process gracefully, but honestly, it was frustrating. I was anxious and tended to get caught up in the most obscure details. Had it not been for my support system and this wonderful job that actually pays me to vent my frustrations, I don’t know how I would have even approached closing my first home. I’m in constant prayer for peace and patience but I’m also grateful, because I know just how much grace you don’t have to worry about the shutdown process. I don’t have to worry about whether my family has shelter, food to eat, or healthy battles to fight. I’m good. My husband is in good health and my children are in good health. We’ll do everything else.