Guess what I came home to tonight?
A special gift from ANOTHER Happy first time home buyer in Maryland!
Jamie and Ben are a young couple who just bought their first home. They were referred to me by John Connors of Select Team Realty. John and I have known each other for a while now. He is the king of market analysis, if you are looking for statistics and market trends, he's your man. On top of that, he is a downright nice guy and really takes special care of both buyers and sellers alike!
Jamie and Ben were looking for a home in Carroll County where they could begin their lives together. We discussed their options and their comfort level for a monthly payment. We talked about their current situation and their future plans. We discussed numbers and worked with them to gather all the information needed to provide a prequalification letter that would help a seller to have every confidence in their ability to secure financing.
John knew just what they were looking for and found it in a freshly rehabbed house in Hampstead. The property had been beautifully re-done by the current owner. Though they qualified for a wide variety of financing, we determined that their best option would be a no money down mortgage. We checked out the USDA website and found that both home and the couple met all the eligibility requirements for USDA financing.
What is USDA you ask? Are they buying a house or a hamburger? USDA offers a Rural Development no money down loans for folks buying properties that meet certain requirements as their primary residence. Every Maryland County (not Baltimore City) offers areas that qualify for the program. You may be surprised at some of the areas that qualify for 100% financing in Maryland. Although Montgomery, Prince Georges, Baltimore and Howard County have limited eligibility, most of the other Maryland counties have a great many areas that qualify for 100% financing through the USDA Rural Development program.
After the offer was accepted, I met with Jamie and Ben. We met at Jamie's mom's home, a lovely home and property in Howard County. Jamie's mom sat with us as we discussed the loan and answer their (and her) questions. I love when the family is involved, everyone needs to have folks in their corner to ensure they are being taken care of. I knew that Mom had that comfort level when about 30 minutes into our meeting she stood up, kissed her daughter and future son-in-law and said "I can see you are in good hands, we'll see you later", and headed out to the Howard County Fair.
In the midst of this loan process Maryland experienced an earthquake, heavy rains, flooding and a hurricane causing a few unexpected delays. Although the delays were frustrating, both realtors, the buyers and sellers understood that we were doing everything in our power to move the transaction forward as quickly as possible. The folks at the USDA office turned around the commitment (the confirmation of available funds) in record time helping us to get to closing at the earliest possible hour.
Everyone was kept up to date throughout the process. Communication was very open with all involved. The seller bent over backwards to ensure that the buyer's were happy and he was quick to provide any additional information required. Troy's agent, Amy Citrano of Coldwell Banker was in his corner the entire time, on top of the transaction and responsive to anything we needed. John helped to keep everyone in the loop and was a joy to work with. It really makes my job so much easier when everyone in the transaction is concerned about getting to closing, understanding of issues that are out of everyone's control, and work together to make it happen.
Our settlement was expertly handled by the folks at North American Title Company in Westminster, MD. Eileen Huff, pre-closer was on top of everything from the minute the title order was placed through to preparing the HUD1 Settlement Statement. Closing was scheduled on a Thursday morning to try to accomodate Ben's plans to be out for the first day of Bow Hunting Season in Maryland. Kim Bonneville, the settlement officer was wonderful at explaining each document to buyers and kept everything running smoothly.
Closing was lively and enjoyable even though funds would not be in house until early afternoon. Amy, protective of the seller's interest, wouldn't allow the keys to be released until funds were in hand. Her mantra "No Money, No Keys". Since Ben was heading out to hunt, and they weren't planning on moving in until Sunday, the buyers were very understanding and easy-going. They were able to pick up the keys later that afternoon, but opted to wait until the next day.
I am so happy for Ben and Jamie, . They are a sweet couple that will have a wonderful start to their life together in this great new home. They are blessed to have a close knit family who will help them when they need it. I bet their parents will be looking for a home closer to them in the not too distant future...just a guess!
Oh, I guess you are still wondering what I came home to tonight!
A gift from Jamie and Ben, with a note thanking me for helping them. What a treat, and what a pleasure it has been! All the best! And by the way, I can make myself available for that special day in June of 2012!
Guess what I came home to tonight??
If you are considering purchasing a home in Maryland and want to be sure you are mortgage ready, my brother Tony and I will be happy to help! We help to make the mortgage process a pleasure!
If you already own your home, we are happy to provide a no-cost mortgage review to help you to determine if refinancing may be in your best interest. Please contact me at 410-960-2061.