Post # 1
What would you do, Hive?
When we went to get pre qualified for a loan, our officer basically asked us how much we wanted to be pre approved for. My Fiance is very conservative when it comes to finances (which is a GOOD thing), and he had crunched the numbers with her and came to a figure that he would feel comfortable with us paying every month. She told us she would feel comfortable pre qualififying us for more, but wrote the letter with the amount Fiance requested. We also have 20K for a downpayment.
Fast forward to a month later, and we’re struggling finding a home we love in the price range we set for ourself. FI really wants a house with a basement, and I really want a house that’s less than 20 years old, and those homes definitely exsist, just about 20K over our pre-approval amount. We’ve found some house I love in our price range, but they’re smaller and on slabs and I can see the disappointment in his face every time we walk into one that I love but doesn’t have the things that he loves.
I really want to make him happy and get a house we both love equally, but I don’t know what to do. I’ve been doing some number crunching myself and the difference in our actual mortgage payments wouldn’t be THAT much if we were to look at homes 10-20K above our pre approval limit, and we could definitely afford it, but it makes Fiance nervous. I don’t know if we should
a.) go to our loan officer and talk about upping the pre-approval amount (if you can even do that) and start looking at those homes
b.) stay where we’re at, knowing that one of us is going to be disappointed in the home we eventually buy.
What would you do, Bees? We are both first time home buyers so this is all new to us.
Post # 3
You’re right, 20k is not going to make that much of a difference when it comes to mortgage payments.
You can definitely go and get pre-approved for a new amount. In the end it’s just a pre-approval.
Just make sure you’re comfortable with the extra amount!
Post # 4
So our first preapproval was written like yours – almost $200k more than what we wanted to pay, so we asked for one written for much less than what we could actually afford so our realtor would actually show us houses that we wanted to pay for. It turned out we wanted to be about $20k higher than what the letter was written for, so they easily wrote us a new preapproval and we were fine.
$10k doesn’t make a huge differece in your mortgage – I say up your search by $20-$30k (you can always offer less, depending on what your market is like) and see where it gets you!
Post # 5
20k is not going to make much of a difference, especially at todays rates. We talked to our loan officer before looking as well, and he did not even bother to give us a preapproval. Like you guys, we had figured out our numbers we’d be comfortable with and he told us no probably, we could get approved for much more. And then his process was to basically give us a preapproval letter for each house we wanted to bid on, for the exact price we wanted it for. We ended up with a house 20% over our original set budget becaue we just couldnt find anything we were happy with in our first target. We can still easily afford it and love our home…. so obviously, my vote is to go for it if you can find something you love and it’s still affordable, esepcially if you plan on staying for a while.
Post # 6
i agree with PPs that 20k isn’t going to make much of a difference and you could get a new pre-approval. but if you don’t feel comfortable doing that and would prefer to stick to your current budget and still get the type of house you both want you may have to search a little further out of your desired search area (i watch way too many house search shows!!)
Post # 7
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
I would ask your FI– what is the actual difference, what would it take in your monthly finances to make him comfortable with it.
What ever you do, DON’T buy a house that you’re not both happy with– that is a recipe for disaster and will eventually be a cause for resentment down the road.
And you can always get bumped up in your pre-approval. When Fiance and I were shopping, we knew $300k was our limit, but when they said we could pre-qual for $320k we jumped at the opportunity, because the last thing we wanted was to miss our dream house for $301k. We ended up finding our dream house for $309 and neither of us regret the decision, and the extra bump in the mortgage was hardly anything for us once all the numbers shook out.
Post # 8
@juliette.eliza: The resentment is what I’m afraid of. I don’t want him to hate our home. I want it to be a place we love together and make it ours. He swears up and down he will love the house we buy but right now he’s just upset because he had a dream for our first home and it doesn’t look like it’s happening. I don’t want to be selfish and get a home that only makes me happy.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
You need to buy a house that you are both happy with at a price that you are both happy with. Finding that sweet spot can definitely be a challenge, but it happens every day. You need a lot of patience and creative thinking. Re-examine your finances and see if there is any room for negotiation on your monthly budget. If there is, meet with your loan officer and find out how much that extra monthly wiggle room could increase your purchase price, and go from there. We ended up increasing our price by $50k (a 12.5% increase) over the 18 months that we were in the market. But increasing the price didn’t change our monthly payment because interest rates decreased over that same time period. So we were able to spend $50k more without changing our monthly payment. And if there really is no wiggle room, maybe you need to expand your search area or see if there are any “must haves” on your list that you could be happy living without. Like, is there a particular reason why you must have a home that is less than 20 years old? What, from your perspective, is the difference between a 20 year old house and a 30 year old one?
FWIW, Mr. LK and I went through similar struggles, except that we had significant style differences. Houses that worked for him made me cringe. And houses that I liked didn’t feel homey to him. We kept communicating, looking, weighing pros and cons, etc. and eventually found a house that we are both head over heels in love with.
Post # 10
Thanks everyone for the advice. I’m going to sit down with Fiance tonight and talk about our budget and see if we can make things work looking higher then we originally planned. I think that’s the best option for us!
Post # 11
Go get a pre-approval for higher. Assuming that you guys are comfortable with what those monthly mortgage payments would equal out to.
When we got pre-approved, we took our absolute max we thought we want to pay and asked to get pre-approved for about $25K higher. Just to give us some wiggle room if our dream home ended up being a few thousand over our preconcieved max.