It's official!! As of 1pm on Friday afternoon, we will be homeowners!!
It has been such a freakin' headache!! I'm gonna share with you the lessons I have learned throughout this hellatious experience (keep in mind, the loan is just in the hub's name and I only have specific POA's)
1) GET A GENERAL POA- I know the Army advises against it. I know it's a scary thing because of all the crazy spouses out there who will buy a new car, house, and run up a brand new credit card. But if you're buying a house together, that level of trust should already be there. You're not gonna commit to a 30-year mortgage with someone you have to worry about like that, right? Believe me, it would have made the whole process a lot smoother.
2) GET YOUR DOCUMENTS TOGETHER AHEAD OF TIME- you will need copies of: POA, military ID, 2 LES statements, 2 years worth of W2's, 2 months worth of bank statements, verification of any checks deposited, cashed, or written to anyone else, copies of orders, employment verification from a supervisor (because no, the ID, LES statements, and W2s aren't enough), and possibly a picture of you in a zebra costume. Be prepared.
3) UNDERSTANDD THAT THIS TAKES TIME AND MONEY- We were pretty fortunate that the sellers paid a lot- most of the closing costs and the few things that needed to be repaired. We did have to come out of pocket for about $700 total, and all of the paperwork-signing is time consuming. I know, you're thinking "It's just a couple of signatures", but it's so much more. Phone calls, e-mails, text messages. I had to play middle-man for 6 weeks for a loan that should have been able to close in 3.
4) ASK QUESTIONS- You are signing your name (or your spouse's) to a 30- YEAR COMMITMENT. Make sure you know what you're signing for.
5) PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN- Don't be afraid to say "Hey, I'm not OK with this". I had to do it a few times- I NEEDED to move in by a certain date. If it wasn't going to happen, we weren't buying this house. Period. The sellers let me move in a week before closing, thankfully, but I had to sign a one-week rental agreement. In the lease, it stated there would be no pets allowed. We have a dog, and I damn sure wasn't leaving him behind. Sometimes, you might not get as lucky as I did, but you have to stick up for yourself. Nobody else will. Your realtor and loan officer are in this for the money, not for you.
6) FIND A GOOD REALTOR- Your realtor is going to be a lot more open and helpful than your loan officer. I found one that I almost consider a friend by this point. She has been so incredibly helpful. She walked me thru the entire process, and helped me remember to breathe when I started to melt down. I'm not all about endorsements, but if you live near Bragg and want to buy a house, ask for Megan at MDM Real Estate. She is freakin' phenomenal.
7) KEEP A BOTTLE OF WINE OR BEER AROUND- This process is stressful. You will want a drink every now and again. Go for it.