My name is Heather and I read your blog EVERY day in my google reader. I LOVE your passion for real estate. I'm twenty two and in the thought process of deciding whether or not to buy a home. I have a couple questions and I'm not sure if you would know the answers but I thought I would ask.
1) Who in the world do I talk to regarding getting a loan?
2) My partner and I want to combine our wages together to get the loan, BUT she doesn't want the loan to be under her name because she owes a little money to the IRS. (Yeah, I know bad, right? We're working on it slowly.) Being that I'm only twenty two I have limited credit (but good credit), but I don't make enough by myself to get as big of a loan as I would if we combined our wages. (Does that make sense? I'm sorry if it doesn't. She's the bread winner.) Do you think we could get a loan WITH her wages combined with mine but WITHOUT her name?
I know that you aren't a loan broker or whatever they're called, but I'm just a tad bit scared to talk to one about this, is that stupid?
Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.
Heather, are we being honest here? If we're being completely honest then I have to tell you that I'm way too pre-occupied with the fact that your email sounds like it's written to someone who's, like, the wise, old, ripe age of thirty. That, and that my initial response was to completely sound like a way old fogey, crotchety, thirty year old. Because my very first two thoughts when I read your email went something like this...
1. It's not stupid to be cautious about consulting a mortgage professional. Especially since they likely work on commission and a home loan is a big decision. It's always a good idea to ask someone you trust (who knows a bit about real estate) to refer someone reputable. But for heaven's sake, please be careful about asking folks on the internet (and this DEFINITELY includes professional referral services)! For all you know, I could have had dog brains for lunch.
2. You're, like, 1000% certain that you and your gal pal are going to ride off into the sunset on a unicorn and spend all of eternity together (it could sooo happen!), right? But consider the legal and financial implications if you don't. Could I sound anymore like the father in Dirty Dancing if I tried? I DIDN'T THINK SO.
If you're still here, and haven't banished me from your Google Reader, then I'll say this... Buying a property at your age in this market is perhaps the smartest thing you can do eva evaaa, Miss Heather. Your head's in the right place. Figure out a way to make it happen. Consult a mortgage professional who works directly for a bank (rather than a broker). They'll be able to offer the best packages. Look into FHA loans and work with an experienced Realtor who may be able to get you cash back at the closing. In terms of keeping your girlfriend's name off of the loan, there are ways to do what you're asking to do, but some of them walk a fine line between legitimate and mortgage fraud. And, personally, I like to stay on the right side of that line. By a continent or so. I've seen Lock Up, and peeing alone is something that I realize is an inherent need for me.
That said, if you and your lady do end up (now or in the future) going in on a piece of property together, consider titling it in both of your names as Joint Tenants With Rights Of Survivorship. This will allow the other to take it over should one of you pass away without the property having to go through probate. It's something that I'd always suggest for partners sharing title who aren't married.
Last, if it were me, I'd buy something much smaller on my own. Let's just say that I could tell you stories, Heather. Boy, could I tell you stories. But just think about it for me, would you? You can always add her into the mix later, right? Just think about it.
Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to write to me. You know, old fart me.
I am not an attorney. For legal advice, please seek qualified legal counsel.