April 29, 2009

This is how I do.

Posted in *cringe*, Nerdiness, The OCD, The WTF at 8:35 am by Dagny Taggart

Thanks for the recommendations!  I definitely filled out a request for an estimate from the JK folks. 

This process – erm, my process, should have been documented for posterity.  I am a poster child for the hilarity of How You Shouldn’t Prepare for Buying Real Estate.

I am not, you might say, an organized person.  Unless it’s work related, I just can’t seem to force myself to research a subject thoroughly before diving in.  So there’s been a lot of conversations like the following:

Realtor:  So, if you think you want to go ahead with this process, we should get you preapproved through your lender and..

Me  (thinking): What?  What’s that?  A lender?  OH!  I totally should have thought of that.  But I don’t HAVE a lender.  Do I just talk to my bank?  I hate my bank!  I want a different lender!  Who has money to lend me anymore, anyway?!!?!  I’ll have to call Sibling.  And maybe even Parents.  They will know what to do.  At some point, I should probably say something.  I’ve been standing here with a dumb look on my face for at least 10 seconds, now…

Realtor:  …and if you don’t have anyone you’d prefer to work with, I’ve got someone I’ve worked with in the past who’s been good.

Me:  Phew!  Okay, that’s taken care of.

And then there was this:

Lender email:  So, we’ve got you approved for X amount at X percent and zero points.  If you want to lock in that rate, give me a call tomorrow before 10 am and we’ll take care of the application fee and get you locked in.

Me:  Sweet!  That was a better interest rate than I thought.  But what the @#$^& are points?  Do I WANT points?  Points sound like they might be good, maybe I do want them!  If I win points in Skee-Ball, I get a prize…

Crap crap crap!  It’s 10:30, and have no access to Google at present.  Cannot call Sibling, as Niece and Nephew are asleep.  Must call Parents, who might be asleep.  I hope they aren’t.  What the hell are points!??

Mr. Taggart (sleepily):  Points are the price you pay for lowering your interest rate if you have bad credit.  The bank isn’t asking you to pay points, because your credit is fine and thus your interest rate is going to be just fine, as well. 

Me:  Oh.  So… points are bad. 

Mr. Taggart:  Well, they’re not bad if you’re the one with bad credit and you want to lower your interest rate.  But having to deal with them in the first place isn’t generally a good sign.

Me:  Right, got it.  Thanks, Dad!

The moral of the story?  Do your research.  It will save your body the effort of producing all that adrenaline to fuel your panic attacks, and will save your reputation the trouble of recovering from you exposing your idiocy to the world.



  1. Gabrielle said,

    IMHO, your dad’s take on the purpose of points is not *entirely* accurate. Points are particularly helpful for people with bad credit, but they can also be useful for people with good credit as well. It can make sense to purchase a point even if you have good credit and a low interest rate, IF the even-lower interest rate you’d get as a result of purchasing the point will ultimately save you money over the life of the loan. Of course, this involves doing math, so I left those calculations in more capable hands when we were mortgage shopping. If you haven’t already locked in your rate with you lender, points might be worth checking out (despite the increased upfront cost).

  2. Jen said,

    You also get a tax benefit, because points are deductable.

    But if your rate is good and your monthly payments are manageable, you’re not sure you’re going to be there the full 30 years and you’d rather put your downpayment money toward the principle in order to build up equity, as opposed to buying down the interest rate, no points is probably the way to go.

    You’re doing fine. No one knows about this stuff the first time around. Remember – fake it til you make it!

  3. Beach Bum said,

    Hahaha, it IS confusing as hell, but you’ll be an expert once it’s over! Yay for buying a new cozy place! I expect an invite for the housewarming party 🙂

  4. AliasFaux said,

    This is why I married a planner.

    Mrs. Faux had all that stuff lined up MONTHS in advance.

    I am like you. I just figured we’d go to our bank or something.

    Now consider that I will be an MBA in December, and weep for America’s future.

  5. vvk said,

    hmm… I have this process to look forward to this summer. I was originally planning on buying sometime over the past few months, but with the new job and all, I’ve been too damn busy. :-\

    I should pick your brain for any advice. 🙂

  6. carrie m said,

    What Gabrielle said. And when I was filing my taxes last month, I came across a box for real estate tax (I just bought my first place late last year) and couldn’t find a corresponding box telling me what my real estate tax. I called my stepdad at 11 pm and proceeded to browbeat him to tell me where to find this information. So I feel you. And congrats!

  7. Gabrielle: Thanks for the advice! It’s definitely good to know what the options are. 🙂

    Jen:Yeah – I’m definitely one of those people who does better when they know what’s going on ahead of time. And thanks for the tax tip!

    Beach Bum: I don’t know about an expert, but at least I won’t be *so* clueless.

    Alias Faux: Sounds like you were in capable hands – I lucked out with a good realtor! As for the MBA, shall we take a look at those MBA’s responsible for the current economic crisis?

    vvk: Anytime!

    carrie m: Thanks for the sympathy – it’s nice to know I’m not alone!

  8. Velvet said,

    Bah. You know better. Why didn’t you call or email? You can practice on me!!!

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