Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Newcomer’s Guide to Clovis, Part 2

Getting a Mortgage

This will be short: Before you choose your bank or mortgage company in Clovis, ask to be sure that the mortgage decisions are made right here in Clovis. Not in Albuquerque, not in Santa Fe, and certainly not anywhere else but right here in Clovis.

We chose a Clovis bank from online and worked out mortgage details from back in New Hampshire. We wanted to be prequalified and ready to go when we made our quick trip out to Clovis to buy a house. Everything was in place—We were prequalified by the bank, we went to Clovis and looked at houses, made an offer that was accepted, and went back to NH to firm up the details of our house sale there and to pack up.

Once we had moved our belongings across the country to storage in Clovis, and had taken up temporary residence in The Seedy Motel, everything went well and all was approved until our closing date approached. It turned out that the company that handled the mortgage was located in Albuquerque, and they really didn’t care when our closing date was supposed to be taking place here in Clovis. The first closing date was to be early on a Friday morning, and was rescheduled at 5 PM the day before. Eight more closing dates came and went, before I stopped counting. I figured no one would believe me, anyway.

Actually, all the bank professionals involved made this seem like the first mortgage they had ever handled. There were people at the mortgage company who didn’t know how to read a pdf document—the print was too tiny (they were looking at an online document reduced to 24% of its original size!). Fax machines didn’t work. We would be getting ready to go to the title company for (yet another) closing and would get a call half an hour before the appointment to tell us that it was (yet again) rescheduled. After a while they didn’t seem to have the strength to reschedule; they simply cancelled.

The sellers had to leave because they had out of state commitments. They graciously allowed us to move into their house a few days before the 8th closing date so that we could get out of The Seedy Motel, where we had been for two weeks. Of course, that closing date was changed, too. It became a joke, not so funny, that we might never close. The bank explained again and again that it had nothing to do with our qualifications and that we had been approved all along, but right up until the day before we actually closed they were phoning for us to fax proof of employment to the mortgage company in Albuquerque.

Oops, this didn’t turn out to be so short, and it’s kind of rantish, besides. Stop reading right now, and just memorize the first paragraph.

Oh, and by the way, the actual closing was quite pleasant and we love our new house.

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