Shaun and I attended the zero down home buying seminar last Saturday in an attempt to blow the lid off all of this real estate and mortgage mumbo jumbo. I hoped the seminar would provide us with the details to the cryptic codes on the websites promising lower interest rates and subsidized funds for down payments. The nearly seven-hour seminar was as lucrative as reading “Who Moved My Cheese” – in other words, stuff I already knew.
The good news is we obtained the certificate we needed to be able to apply for the lower interest rate, for which we do in fact qualify. The bad news is if we sell the house we buy with this lower interest rate within nine years, we will also, I’m quite certain, qualify for the hefty recapture tax associated with it. While we can sneak in under the wire now and meet the income requirements for the lower rate, we really are sneaking in. In a year or two we’ll make too much money to qualify which will leave us open to the recapture tax. I didn’t expect to qualify financially for any down payment assistance, and found that most of these programs are known as “creative financing” to mortgage brokers. An example is a non-profit foundation offering you the cash to put down on a home loan only if the seller agrees to gift the same amount to the organization. Unless you find an unusually magnanimous seller, they’ll only gift that money, say $15,000, to the foundation, once you have made an offer for the house $15,000 over the asking price. We’re still meeting with mortgage brokers who deal with these government programs routinely to see if we can find a better option than what we’ve previously been offered. I remain hopeful but skeptical.
That’s not why you called though. You want the sarcastic, cruel remarks about the seminar. Or at least, that’s what I want to provide. So enjoy.
The seminar was split into two parts, the first half was taught by a real estate agent and covered house hunting, the second half was taught by a mortgage “consultant” and covered shopping for loans and mortgage brokers. The real estate agent spent the better part of his class talking about how the real estate industry has changed dramatically in the past few years, and how the computer revolutionized the industry. Isn’t it phenomenal, he projected more than once, that with one click of the button, all of the information about a house can be sent out all over the world to anyone who wants it. Yes, yes it is amazing. Welcome to the nineties.
The mortgage “consultant” was a confident and assertive woman who traveled to the class in her Delorian. While we welcomed the real estate agent to the nineties, she welcomed us to the eighties. She had her hair pulled back in a pony tail and her bangs greased and curled over the side of her face. She had dark eyeliner around her entire eyes. She wore a brown jacket with about 1700 buttons down the front and shoulder pads that made her look like a linebacker. While the sleeves were baggy and ill-fitting the back was so tight and thin that we all could tell what brand of bra she was wearing. It was Jockey, to go with her baggy riding pants tucked into and billowing out of her knee high boots. It was quite the spectacle. I kept hoping that at any moment Stacy and Clinton from TLC’s “What Not to Wear” would pop in and take her away from us. No such luck.
We are now set to meet with these people to see what they can do for us loan wise. We may not opt for the lower interest rate and they may not have any better deals for us, but I’d still like to hear what they have to say as they were much more willing, at least in class, to crunch numbers. Also, a second opinion never hurts. Meanwhile, it’s only Tuesday and I want to look at the house I’m watching now, now, now, but can’t get out there with Shaun until Saturday. I’ve thought about venturing out by myself but I don’t think it’s a good idea. Even if Shaun doesn’t always say much, I’ll make a better decision with him there than I would left to my own devices.
Biding my time and biting my nails until the weekend,