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Compromise, Open House and Student Loans


I never tire of writing how tedious, frustrating and emotionally draining the home buying process has been. In my home buying search, I have attended about a hundred open houses and viewings. Some I really liked (the new built in Bedstuy but was out of my price range), some were awful (the home that reeked of cat urine) and others fell somewhere in the middle. I've been seriously looking for a home for about a year. I can honestly say that I have seen it all. I had a pretty good sense of what I liked, what I could afford and what were deal breakers. By attending these open houses I was able to focus my search and I learned that there isn't a perfect home.I learned that term that is so often mentioned on Property Virgins and My First Place, compromise.
I thought It would be fun to share some of my open house pictures to show what you get for your money in New York. It's astounding to me that in Georgia you can buy a 3 to 4 bedroom home with a basement and large lot space for the same price as you pay for a tiny coop or condo in New York.
The first apartment is of a two bedroom coop that I seriously considered making an offer on.




I loved this apartment. It was quiet street yet was close to public transportation. It was on the 5th floor and had very good views of Brooklyn. There was lots of natural light. It had a security guard on site, laundry in the basement and a waiting list for parking. The kitchen and bathroom needed work but I was willing to compromise. The buyer was also eager to sell. The price was just right at $159,000. However, I couldn't move forward on it because my mortgage company (HSBC) didn't like the financials on this cooperative. It was not on their approved list of coops.
Here is another cooperative that needed renovation. 


It was in the vicinity of Brooklyn College, close to transportation, on a quiet block, high ceilings, large space but needed updates in the bathroom and kitchen. There was a lot of interest on this place and I was one of six that arrived  for the open house with several others calling to inquire. The price was only $167,000. Perfect, right? Wrong. The downside to this property was the monthly maintenance was almost $900. My monthly coop fees would be more than my mortgage. Hence, I couldn't afford it.


I wrote about the issues surrounding my mortgage approval in my previous post but I would like to include an update. For the second week running my mortgage underwriter has been pestering me about my student loans. At this point they can deny me the mortgage because my debt to income ratio is possibly too high. I have three student loans with a current combined balance of $42,685.68. However one loan is subsidize meaning that the government pays the interest rate while I’m in school. The other two loans have a combined balance of $34,185.68 with an interest rate of 6.8%. Sallie Mae provided me with a letter with the expected date of  my graduation, 5/1/14 and the fact that I will receive a six month grace period and the date of repayment will be 12/1/14, However this has not satisfied the mortgage underwriter, who states that they need the exact repayment cost. Now here is where I've been doing my own math:
Though I’m not officially in repayment on my student loans, I started paying them last month and intent to continue to pay $400 per month going forward (for the next 17 months until repayment). As per my conversation with the Sallie Mae customer representative, I will be required to pay a repayment cost of $495 monthly for the next 10 years (once the loan goes into repayment). I did my own calculation of this on bankrate.com and the monthly payment was consistent with what was reported by Sallie Mae. My current balance is $42,685.68. However, $8500 of that is subsidized and is not currently accruing interest. The other two loans have a combined total of $34,185.68 with an interest rate of 6.8%.

Loan amount: $
Loan term:   years or   months Interest rate:   % per year Loan start date:  
Monthly Payments: $

Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/college-planning/loan-calculator.aspx#ixzz2XwjcaY00
Follow us: @Bankrate on Twitter | Bankrate on Facebook
I don't want my student loans to be the reason I lose this house.  What is it they say, all good things come to those who wait. and I have been patiently waiting for almost two months. If anyone has purchase a home with an debt to income ratio higher than 46% please leave a comment or email me. I would love to know how you were able to secure a mortgage.

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Welcome to My Blog!

Hello, my name is Marissa. I’m new to blogging. I don’t have a degree in design and I’m not a professional decorator. I just love decorating.
I love home improvement and design shows. I love HGTV and apartmenttherapy.com. 
My favorite shows are House Hunters, The High Low Project, The Property Brothers, Love It or List It and Property Virgins.
I’m also in the process of buying my first home, a cooperative apartment in Brooklyn, NY. Buying a home is a giant step but it’s also an expensive one too.
I have big plans for my first home. However I'm now realizing that most of the work I planned for the home, I can't afford.
I have been looking for a home for several years, but seriously looking for about a year. Most of my friends live in Brooklyn. I live and work in Brooklyn so it only made sense for me to stay here. But Brooklyn real estate is not cheap.
My Coop wish lists were: a two bedroom apartment, with lots of closet space, natural light and windows in the kitchen and bathroom. I…