Author Topic: Mortgage Newbie  (Read 402 times)

Hargrove

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 706
Mortgage Newbie
« on: September 30, 2018, 07:41:05 AM »
So I'm looking at a place and getting married this year (yay!). My SO is terrible with money because she doesn't think systematically (rather than that she buys shiny things). She has terrible credit because she will, say, miss a payment, because she thought autopay was on. She's otherwise wary of debt, however. Her only credit card intentionally maxes at $250. Sure, not ideal, but some of us are bad at money. My credit is around 810 and we have shared financial plans (that she wants me to shepherd, anyway).

1. Is it to my advantage (and realistic) to buy a place prior to getting married? I can very easily afford the place I'm looking at (90-120k), and it's nice for the area. It's local to my job anyway. So how much more hassle will it be to wait (is she then required to be on the application after we're married?).

2. Tips to shop mortgage lenders? I looked at Sofi and got prequalified for a 15 year around 4.5 but they want me to borrow over 100k. I don't need to - does it make sense to borrow more to hit the minimum and invest it? Is that a thing? I'm sure there's very complicated language to review but I'm not pulling credit yet. Before I bother negotiating with them on whether they'll lend less, is there a common "floor" to mortgages? I thought it was like 50k. Lending Tree claims 3.75% on 15-yr is possible. Sofi offered 4.5. Consumer Direct offered 4.75 (only $600 in fees). Better Home offered 4.5 as well.

3. Sofi offers lender-paid PMI - does anyone know if that's nonsense already factored into your rate offer, or a real perk at Sofi? They offer 10% down loans with this, and if I can leave it in VTSAX for free or nearly free, I'd just... do that.

4. Am I missing anything about "customer service"? They all tout customer service, but unless there's a reason I'll be calling my mortgage broker for coffee, or their online payment portal doesn't work and their phone was repossessed, I can't imagine this mattering very much after the mortgage is written.

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2860
Re: Mortgage Newbie
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 09:20:08 PM »
Your spouse is only required to be on the mortgage if her name is on the title. So if you're both ok with just your name on there, then it's irrelevant when you buy the place.

You can certainly borrow less than 100k. Below 50k it will get hard to find lenders, though. I'd suggest borrowing the max you can without incurring PMI and putting most of your money in the market. But that's a contentious topic.

The lender paid PMI is money you are paying somewhere else (in the rate, in the fees, etc). The mortgage world is quite cut-throat and the margins are small so if it seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is. I have no specific knowledge of how Sofi runs this, though.

Customer service is pretty irrelevant. Your loan is likely to be sold to another servicer (perhaps multiple times) anyway so ignore the customer service stuff.

-W


Hargrove

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 706
Re: Mortgage Newbie
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2018, 06:47:45 PM »
Thanks!

She doesn't care if her name is on the deed. I do a little, but not enough to double the interest rate.

And yes, I'm only holding enough mortgage to cancel PMI at the outset.