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Getting the ball rolling on my property search

After some research and after speaking with my real estate agent (she recommended him), I finally decided on a mortgage broker. I e-mailed him yesterday afternoon and he called me this morning. He quickly ran my numbers, and thinks I can get pre-approval for about a $215-$230k mortgage right now. Ideally, I’d want a mortgage of less than $200k (and a property purchase of around $230k). I think I can handle those payments and still save up for my retirement and my EF at the same time.

I told the broker that I want to get pre-approval now, but ideally I’d like to buy in the spring. If I came across a property in a few months that I couldn’t pass up, at least I’d have all my paperwork in order to make an offer if I decided to. It’ll be tough finding a condo in my price range, but I’m not in a rush and I’m willing to wait. Obviously the longer I wait to buy, the more of a down payment I’ll have.

He seems so nice, and so patient, and really on top of things. He is the President and Lead Mortgage Consultant of his own firm, so it’s his reputation that’s on the line. He said he would get back to me next week after the long weekend to set up a meeting and discuss the financial details of the pre-approval.

It makes me feel comfortable being in the hands of my agent, as well as with this broker. Neither of them talk down to me, and they have both gone out of their way to make me feel like I’m worth something! I really respect that, and I’m very excited to get started.

I thought Realtors were supposed to be friendly and helpful

So yesterday when I got the call from the Realtor about his $170k condo listing with water damage (who, FYI, was very pleasant and helpful), I was still waiting on the call from the other Realtor I had spoken to about her $170k condo listing in the same building. I knew she was going to tell me the same thing, but thought it was weird she hadn’t called yet!

Today she finally called, and she told me what I expected to hear. Then she asked if I was planning on a high-ratio mortgage. I was about to briefly explain my financial situation … but she cut me off and asked if I was a first time buyer. When I said yes, said she prefers not to deal with high-ratio buyers. I hadn’ t even told her anything yet, let alone how much money I had! I could have had the entire $170k in cash, for all she knew. Then she said “I can’t really help you … sorrrrry” in the same tone you would use to talk to a child. She had a very condescending tone; as if she knew I wasn’t going to bring her enough money to justify the time it would take to help me.

I know I’m not in it for the big ticket purchase, but would it kill her to at least treat me like I’m worth something? And sure, she could make thousands of dollars in commission off someone else, but every home owner has to start somewhere. Some day I’m going to be that person looking to buy that fabulous, expensive house, and you can bet I’m not even going to consider working with her!

Remediation = $$$

Today I spoke to a Realtor who had one of the $170k condos for sale on MLS. He said that it was sold, and the buyers are getting their financing in order.

Apparently it’s been hard for buyers to get financing b/c the building is probably going to have to go under remediation. He said the strata documents suggest the building has suffered water damage. Yikes! No wonder those condos were dirt cheap!

Oh well.

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