Looks like some progress is being made in our home-buying adventure. As the cliche says, once you involve lawyers in something, you lose all control.
Lee and John spoke to their lawyer, and accepted our offer, with certain limitations -- he (the lawyer) wanted to change some of the dates, and tie a deposit to the offer. He said he would prepare some documentation and fax it to our attorney, and that's the last we heard of it.
We called our attorney's office today, after finding out that the seller's attorney faxed them the revised documentation LAST THURSDAY. The paralegal at our attorney's office says they'll finish going over the documents today and we'll be able to move forward.
Frustrating, but ... oh well. We move.
As far as financing, we have two lenders we're talking to so far. I need to decide who else I'll involve, and then sit down and hammer it out later this week to determine who will get our business. So far:
Wells Frago: Were very nice on the phone, but have been unresponsive to my emails. I need to be able to do business via email, at least on some level. I can find time to hammer out a quick email, but don't have the time or privacy to handle financial matters on the phone at work. I need to know the revised rates if I were to go with Wells Fargo, and I need to talk to them about switching the 20% loan from a 10-year balloon to a 15- or 20-year fixed.
Bank of America: This is our bank, and the only people we've talked to in person. Again, the person we dealt with was very helpful and friendly. As BoA customers our closing costs would be reduced (bonus!) but this might be offset by extra legal fees if our lawyer doesn't work with BoA (he does work with WF). The rates at BoA seemed higher than WF but it was a whole month later, and the 20% loan was a 15-year fixed and not a 10-year balloon so it's not really an apples-to-apples comparison. The guy at BoA specifically said he does a lot of business via email and could answer my questions that way quickly. They'll also do all the paperwork at our local branch office, which is convenient. Finally, if our credit score is high enough, because we have accounts there they do reduced paperwork loans without any impact on rates. It's just a convenience issue but it does seem nice.
I probably want to talk to a couple more lenders. Sallie Mae, who does my school loan, is offering a reduction on closing costs because of that. GMAC, located in the same building where Jess works, has good word-of-mouth from my manager. Finally, Sherwood Mortgage in Worcester is also being mentioned as a good place by people we trust.
Do I feel like working with 5 lenders to get the best rate? Not especially. But this is serious money, so I probably should. Grr :).