In light of recent events, I was really going back and forth on whether I should use this title for this week’s edition of Priority Pulse, but I believe once you’ve read it, you’ll agree the title is fitting. Are we good?
Recently, an agent came to me with a very young borrower who wanted to buy a new house. Before I could ask the usual questions about income, credit, etc., the agent told me that they had tried another lender who told them she couldn’t qualify the borrower for the amount needed to purchase the house based solely on his income. We quickly determined that he regularly works overtime, and he gets quite a good amount of it each week, but he’s only been at his current employer for 14 months; his previous employer didn’t give him any overtime. We need two years of employment during which the borrower receives overtime to be able to count it, right? (That’s where the first lender stopped.) Actually, that’s not the way the FHA rule is written regarding overtime –it actually leaves it up to the underwriter to determine if overtime can be counted.
When I called the agent back to let her know I was reasonably confident we could qualify her client to purchase the house without having to add another borrower to the mix, she was ready (and I definitely applaud this) to write the offer at that very moment. Fortunately, though, I was able to keep her on the line and explain the matter regarding overtime. Further, I recommended that before writing an offer, we should submit a full file to the underwriter for approval. This way, if we get the approval, we’re aces; if the overtime is the sticking point, we can still work on finding ways to get it approved or adding another borrower without the clock ticking on a contract. She agreed.
A few days later, I had the privilege of calling the agent back and letting her know she was now able –nay, expected –to do the happy dance: the underwriter, in her discretion, counted the overtime so the borrower has more than enough income to qualify, and the agent needs to do her thing. Even though the days between when I first explained the strategy to the agent and when I had her release the hounds and get the house were filled with text messages with funny images displaying her desire for everything to happen yesterday, we maintained a calm –a calm that could be maintained because we knew that whatever came out of our submission to the underwriter, we still had options, and we hadn’t put ourselves against the clock. Further, we brought the agent into our “war room” meeting so she didn’t see any need to put us up against the clock either. A storm is now being unleashed: a storm of excitement for a very young man to buy his first home: the American Dream! Come on, if you’re not hearing patriotic music in your head or shedding a small tear of happiness for this guy, I don’t know who you are!
Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 6th) will be the culmination of a lot of building uncertainty for us all, regardless of our political stripe, but it will also be the beginning of new uncertainties. Today is the calm before the storm. Whether the results of tomorrow cause hyperventilation from panic or excitement, please remember the words of Paul Harvey: “In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.”