So the latest on the house is that we will NOT be signing tomorrow as we had planned.
This time there is a problem with the appraisal report (which I'm not sure why they didn't catch it 2 weeks ago when they got it) and the underwriter has requested some changes. So we get pushed back again. We are still not sure when we will sign now, though the loan processor has stated we should ask for an extension until the 30th.
This has me freaked out. We have everything in place to move next week, including having much of our apartment packed up and in general disarray. On top of that, we have family coming into town to visit in 2 weeks and our apartment is in no condition for visitors, so hopefully we will still have time to move before they get here. If we can't move next week, I don't know what I am going to do.
This whole thing has taught me a lot of valuable information that I would definitely pass on to any first time home buyer:
1) First, and most importantly, GIVE YOURSELF TIME. You may not get the first place you love (or even the second or third) and banks are not completely reliable. If you are living somewhere that you know you need to be out of by a specific day, give yourself a few months to find a place and a few months to close. You don't want to end up homeless and the bank only works during business hours.
2) Even if the first bank you go to has a great mortgage broker and the loan sounds like what you need, SHOP AROUND. This was the biggest mistake Sean and I made and it has cost us about $8,000 so far. We went with the first place to approve us and didn't look into our other options. Sometimes, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
3) If you are unsure, uncomfortable, or just plain don't know something, ASK QUESTIONS. Things change every day in the housing/mortgage industry, and your mortgage broker or realtor may assume you know something. Speak up for yourself and asks questions. Don't worry about being annoying or asking what you think is dumb question. There are no dumb questions and these people are working for you now, so if you are going to spend that much money, they should be available to answer any questions you have. If they aren't, find someone who is.
4) Until you are in the title office signing the paperwork, everything can change, so BE FLEXIBLE. We have had to make plans, reschedule, and then reschedule again a few times. The bank works on its own time and (at least the one we are working with) doesn't like to make sure they are thorough the first time. So at any time something could change and get pushed back. Be prepared for things to change and don't plan any major events (or visits from out of town family) too close to when you are suppose to close.
Hopefully someone else will read this and learn from our mistakes. I'm sure the home buying process doesn't have to be this stressful. If we had known this stuff in advanced, maybe it wouldn't have been.