Morbidity and Mortality

Care to look upon the mess that is sitting in front of me? Sure you do, everyone likes a good car wreck and who knows maybe you can learn something from what we just went through.

Pre-before now:

  • 10 years of college to obtain not one, but two degrees.
  • A job before graduation. A good paying job with the potential for becoming a great paying job shortly.

Before now, approximately 3 months ago:

  • On a whim decide to look for a house instead of an apartment.
  • Told by our mortgage officer at the bank that we most definitely qualify for a 100k loan and as income increases, qualify for more.
  • Have a sense of hope. Here is where I identify the beginning of our problem.
  • Begin turning in the paperwork as asked for by our mortgage officer as she asked for it; i.e. she asked for the first paycheck. What she should have asked for and did ask for much later was the first full-time paycheck.
  • Begin looking for houses. Find one.
  • Hope increases. We found a house we love and our mortgage officer continues to tell us almost daily that she would not bother if she did not think we wouldn’t qualify, after all with all of her experience she knows.
  • The first signs of trouble, seems that the first paystub with 11-hours was not enough and she wants a different paystub. At this time begins the two-week debate over student loans. As part of a mortgage, student loans are now included in the equation, however our loan officer did not know how to read a loan sheet nor understand that most student loan providers do not have the information readily available while a loan is in deferment. The mortgage officer was sent the correct student loan information on day 1, but fought us tooth and nail for 14 days until she or someone in the office explained to her that this was what she wanted all along.
  • Our realtor works for us. Works with the homeowners through each of the issues and assists us with the process. She even recommends a home inspector who turns out to be awesome and the start of the end of getting the house, although we had no clue at that moment. I am ignoring her suggestion to try another bank because the lady at the bank was a huge pain the ass, not the realtor’s fault at all.
  • I pack up most of our house, assured by our mortgage officer that all loans take about 30 days. 40 days in, I am regretting packing and the family starts a slow slide into miserableness.
  • Home inspection and the first pay raise. Home inspection reveals that the well and septic system are not easily found. Knowing where the well and septic system are vital to our loan.

Approximately a month ago:

  • Despite zero progress on the mortgage, our mortgage officer continues to tell us how she is sure that it will go through. She also was told by her boss that she needed to refile the paperwork due to the pay increase. Huge RED FLAG. But, we have hope. Just another bump in the road.
  • Homeowners work with us and the realtor over all issues. The well remains a mystery, but one that should be solvable.
  • Pay becomes an issue. Despite telling us that there will be a mortgage, the mortgage officer tells us in passive ways that there are problems not with the amount of pay, but the amount of hours; i.e. 36 hours is not 40 and everything was figured out  at 40, among other issues. No amount of explaining that due to the job position there will never be 40 hours (3 twelve hours days equals 36), the mortgage officer says “it will work out, I am sure of it” and two-seconds later, “but pay is an issue.”
  • My hope diminishes. Barb holds onto hope. The children have lost all interest and just want to move.

Approximately a week ago:

  • Zero movement on the loan, continuing reassurances that the loan will happen, and a month of stress induced nightmares, I am done. I have no hope.
  • Pay continues to be an issue, no matter what we will not qualify for the loan due to not working 40 hours, despite a letter from a boss stating 36 hours is it, despite a second larger pay raise is on its way, despite a lot of things.
  • We have at this point, paid $500 for a home inspection, $100 in paint supplies to do some touch-up exterior work, $who knows on food out because the kitchen has been packed up for 30+ days. We have wasted waiting over 60 days and we are almost out of time at our current residence.
  • Speaking of current residence, Ferris State University Housing has been beyond awesome allowing us to stay here.
  • The family is miserable. Our summer has been pissed away. There is next to nothing to do at home and we went from eating well to eating like shit, but there is hope and assurances that the loan WILL happen.


  • The loan is not denied, but put on hold. What does that mean? It means that our mortgage officer spoke to underwriting who told her no, but she has hope that once the final pay increase happens the loan WILL happen. With the loan on hold, our mortgage officer wants us to send in all of the paperwork because it will happen. Except, our mortgage officer has not started new paperwork to go with the new pay raise, and has not checked to see if the pay raise will actually work.
  • Tired of our mortgage banker stringing us along, we contact another lender who in one-day lays out the truth for us, only when the final pay raise comes in will we qualify for a mortgage. One day! One fucking day to find out what took 60+ days of stringing us along.
  • On the way to take a test, a paperwork snafu causes the test to be delayed, which sets back the final pay increase by 30-days.
  • The well is finally found…to close to the septic system. Even if the mortgage had been approved, the location of the well killed the sale.


  • With no place to live, hope crushed, I spend most of my morning looking for a place for us to live. This includes driving 7 miles the wrong way.
  • I learn two important facts:
    • We make too little money to qualify for a mortgage and we make too much money to qualify for any apartment in this city and the next.
  • I have never lived in a region where every apartment complex I have contacted is income based low-income housing.
  • Finally, we have an appointment tomorrow to see two houses for rent.

Right Now:

I can point to several instances where we should have said, “Stop, we are done.” But we had hope. After 10-years of work you want to believe that there is a prize at the end. There is no prize. Hope, is dead, at least on the home issue for now. The reality of the situation is we need to wait a year and try again. Next time we will have this to look upon and know when things have gone wrong and how to deal with them better.

There is part of me who wants to blame the mortgage officer and I do hold her responsible for her actions and inactions, but ultimately in the end, we need to accept that we could have and should have done things differently.









5 thoughts on “Morbidity and Mortality

  1. I know the frustration of buying well: you’re qualified, no wait, not really, oh sure as long as __________, and sorry not sorry, you have to wait.

    I’m sorry you had such a bad bank experience; I’ve had good and bad and everything in between.

    A couple things to consider (NOT Advice):

    1. Shop for a mortgage broker instead of using a bank employee. Brokers are, in my experience, more motivated (commission vs salary – they ONLY get paid if they find you a loan, whereas bank employees don’t care – they get paid their salary regardless) and more organized, and they get creative with finding you financing.

    2. Save every penny you can. When you start looking again, you don’t have to USE your savings, but it’s important to show some, at least on paper. Banks want to see a minimum of 3 months worth of house payments sitting in savings. This makes you less of a risk and that, in turn, gives you more flexibility.

    3. Find a place you can live comfortably for the next 2 years. Multiple moves are viewed like multiple job changes: negatively. “Stable” is considered two years or more in the same residence, at the same job. Yes, you may choose to start house shopping again in one year. But you’ll be doing yourself a favor – and giving yourself wiggle room – if you can be happy there for two, if necessary.

    I’ve bought and sold and bought again and now am looking for investment properties. I’ve been in your state (I own property there) and gone through the process in mine too. So this is just me, sharing my experience. Again: NOT advice, but definitely things to keep in mind.

    Good luck in the interim. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Taking A Deep Breath – Speaking Out On Life

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