What I learned in my 8 month loan and new build process.
-don't sweat the small stuff
-no news is good news. If you send in the requested docs, and you don't hear back quickly, than all is good. Understand the farther out from closing you are, the deeper in the stack your file is. You are not the only client. At any one time the money guy has a closing on the horizon that will have priority, if your new build is due to finish in 4 more months, well guess what? All I asked was when MY closing happens in 4 days to have my file at the top, and I was reassured that would be the case.
-In my situation the lender, sales, and builder all came under one umbrella. There are advantages and disadvantages of this scenario. I read the horror stories no one was looking out for me, I was going to get roasted etc. I had none of that. They were very professional. In the end I have a great home, and they made some money. Its called business. Because all worked for the same company they were committed to getting me in this house. All 3 were responsive, and each knew what the other 2 were doing. I was quickly preapproved, they only wanted 500 down in earnest, and they broke ground within 30 days after the contract was signed. They paid ALL closing costs, over 12,0000 dollars worth. The house is beautiful and well built. I've had a few minor issues (ALL new houses do) that were promptly addressed and satisfied.
-My way to a new house is the middle method. 1st you pick out a spec house in the community and just move in. Works for most people. 2nd you do like I did. Pick a plan from the builder for that community. You get to pick out colors, options etc. The price given is gonna be the basic house, check that list carefully. In my case the house had many "Upgraded" options as standard. As a incentive I was given another 8,000 to use at the design center. Well we spent that and another 7 LOL. Realize it does not take long to spend 10k at the design center. 3rd option is the true custom build. You buy the lot, get the architect to draw up precisely what you want, and go find the builder, and a construction loan. You have to know what you're doing if you go this way. Its a lot of work, and I entertained no notion of this option. I mean you're gonna spend hours (days?) in Lowe's looking at door knobs, backspaslh, lights. In my route the designers had all that narrowed down for ya, so instead of looking at hundreds of tiles you chose from about 30. I liked that. Understand the builder has vendors for all that stuff, and buy it at a good price, and why they were able to build me a pretty good house for the price.
-Stuff is gonna happen. Docs will be misplaced, wrongly shredded, or deleted and have to be reexcuted. Weather will be bad=more delays. Suppliers get behind and can't get stuff to the job site. Don't let it ruin your day. Just resend the docs.
-the people in the pipeline work best under pressure, they're let ya know when its time to sweat.
-I kept a accordion file of the stuff I turned into the money people, I kept it on my desk for quick reference for months. It became a part of me. A month after closing it now sits on my bookcase. I look to it when I want to be reminded what it took to get me here. It truly represents almost 40 years of work and life. I think I'm gonna have it buried with me. I suggest you keep a file.
-don't try to match wits with these guys. A couple of times I was asked for stuff that I thought had no revelance, but I did my duty and just got it up and sent the requested info.
-They want you to buy THIS house.
-Know the scrore going in=understand and know YOUR credit file and how it got there and how to get it better. It will make the process much easier. I really didn't do that because I didn't know anything. I was lucky, I had a clean file, my only problem was lack of revolving credit. Because I had 6 months to work it, I was advised to go out and pick 2 more cards. I did and my scores improved 25 points right away.
-if you are going to engage collections on your file, do it before applying, or get some solid advice if you're gonna do it while in the process.
-do not become a slave to the process. While all this going on, live your life. Do the stuff you like doing. When you sit around and wonder what they're gonna do about your driveway all the time you whip up all kinds of ugly scenarios.
-if you have issues of confrontaion, controversey, and uncooperation among any of the 3, and its not gettin better, step back and take a look.
-try to get good snacks at the closing. I wanted nachos but got Keebler oatmeal cookies and mtn dew.
And thats all I can think of right now.
great advice, BamaGuy!
preparation is key!!!! there's no way around it....preparation in the sense of knowing and understanding your credit file, budgeting so you know what you can comfortably pay in a monthly mortgage, and being an active participant in the mortgage process.
Partner with your loan officer, provide documents as soon as they ask for them.
Be open/honest about things, and ask questions!!
There are a lot of lenders out there who just plain 'ole suck....and it's important for the buyer to be willing to move on to the next one.
Thabks good post as i am going through a new buildnow and they are requesting docs and then i dont hear from anyone to ket me know if they recieved it or to ask questions....im thinking they are working and overwhelmed but it would be nice to hear from my LO but im only 3 weeks in and my sales kady keeps reassuring me everything is ok. Im a 1st time buyer and expected more but we are still 5 months out so this has helped me see the big picture...also they are in the middle of lender change so we will see if communication improves