For about 300 years now, we’ve been trying to build a house. At least it feels that long. We have the floor plan picked out, all the options, etc. We had submitted our info to the mortgage lender just before Isaac was born. “Everything looks great”, our lender said. I was changing jobs soon, would that be a problem? “Nope, you’ll be doing the same line of work for more money, right? Even with partial commission you’ll be fine”, our lender said. Our lender, we should note, is NOT an underwriter. He has NOT been scrutinized and slapped around of late for all the screwy deals he made over the last few years. As it turns out, actual underwriters are very skittish these days. My estimated income is well within range needed, however since about 40% of that income is coming from commission on contracts, they are treating us like lepers. “Don’t touch the icky commission guy, he might infect you! What’s that? WE’RE on commission too??? Oh. Well, we already have houses, what do we care?”
Bottom line, they will only count my base salary. Nevermind the last four years doing exactly the same work and proving myself capable. Or the ten years before that doing almost the same work. Or the fact that nobody leaves a good job to take a lower-paying job doing the same thing –duh! They want proof I can do it with my new employer. Imagine this in any other line of work. “Sure, Mr. Clown, you can dress up like a freak and make balloons for Ringling Brothers, but we need to see you in action with Barnum and Bailey for at least a year before we believe you can really do it.” (I don’t even know who I’m quoting anymore…it’s late and I feel goofy, gimmie a break)
It’s not like we’re trying to build some over-the-top fancy show-off house. It’s a stinking Hubble Home for crying out loud! Functional, decidedly NOT pretty, but exactly what we want. Plus, it would be 5 minutes from the new church site. A nice bonus considering how often we’re there. Did I mention this is a Hubble?
So now we are starting the ever-exciting game of shuffle-a-lender, where we throw our intensely personal information at every starving mortgage freak within gagging distance. More likely, though, we will end up getting our loan from – get this – The USDA. Yeah, that’s the United States Department of Agriculture. We, who cannot grow weeds on purpose, might end up with a home loan courtesy of people who can…well, grow stuff on purpose. Or at least regulate those who do. Deal is, our house would be in Kuna (stop laughing), and as a small town they have signed up for the Rural Development program under the USDA. Essentially, this is a program designed to help vitalize small farming communities…like Kuna. The loan would be basically like any other loan, except that we’d pay it to the government (yikes), our interest rate would be slightly lower (hooray), and there is no mortgage insurance to pay (huh?). Evidently you don’t need to insure taxpayer money. Hey, I don’t feel bad. It will be some of the only tax money ever invested in something that pays back! With (considerable) interest!
So yeah, we’re doing that if possible. If the good ‘ole government is so eager to bail out greedy banks, why not take a chance on a family who has never, ever, ever been late on a mortgage or rent payment?
Stay tuned…working with the government is like fishing with toothpicks. You might eventually accomplish your goal, but you’re guaranteed to feel like an idiot in the process and the results are rarely up to expectations. Sigh.