RambleMan

wandering exploring writing

Free Money!

Please excuse me. I’m in shock right now. I had my meeting with my bank and the Housing Corporation today and the results of it are all starting to hit me. For some reason, I didn’t think about it at work.

It’s all good news, although after my meeting with the bank I felt like I had been in somebody else’s body for a while. I am, as far as I’m concerned, one of the most mellow, cheerful and friendly people you’d ever meet. When I got into the meeting with the banker guy about getting a pre-approved mortgage, I got damn close to being outright rude to the guy. I was certainly confrontational and louder than I normally get.

I know why I acted like a freak, but it doesn’t excuse it. My brain operates in really interesting ways that I find fascinating. I hate my bank. That’s at the crux of it all. I have only ever gone to them to borrow money twice before and they were pricks about it both times. Certainly, the last time was only about 6 months ago and my financial situation was dramatically worse than it is now, but the truth is that they didn’t treat me like a valued customer when I was in need, they treated me like scum who couldn’t be trusted to keep a plant alive. That all flooded back today, even though this new guy had nothing to do with that. The point where I almost lost it completely was when I saw he was putting down my available credit on my one credit card down as a liability. WHAT?! ARGH! I may as well have it maxed out if they’re going to count it against me!

Okay, I understand that they have to keep their best interests at heart…they have to assume that I’ll run out and max out the card, and they want to ensure I have available income to handle that – at it’s minimum payments, as well as regular living costs and this new mortgage I’m applying for. In the end, I was approved, of course – I knew I would be…I just don’t like how they do their math. Banks are evil, evil empires that don’t care about you and me. I am convinced of that and I have no idea what it would take to change my mind. In this meeting with Seann, all those pent up emotions of “die bastards, die!” came out. Ah well. Nothing I can do about it now. I did apologize for being abrasive. Do I really care what he thinks about me? Not really…but right now he has the ability to control the mortgage university for Scotiabank.

My next meeting was with Jason at the Housing Corporation. I liked Jason. I think you can judge a person largely on what they put on their office walls. They have only been in their offices for a week or so now and this guy already has a photocopy of a Far Side cartoon on his wall of a guy sitting on the edge of his bed looking at a big sign tacked to his wall that says “first pants, then shoes”. Jason is my kind of people…I could tell that right from the start.

The other thing I liked about Jason is that he’s a numbers guy. From the way he spoke, I could tell that he resents giving government money to people who always seem to be standing in line for yet another government handout. He made it very clear to me that he was the one that would be reviewing all of the applications once he’s finished and that need wouldn’t be the deciding factor, but instead it would be decided based on ability to pay a mortgage down. I like that. Also, my thoughts earlier about people living in low-cost housing was true. He said that he only has about 13 people left on his list that are in that category, and out of those, only about 3 of them will likely qualify because most of them either earn too little, as in they couldn’t afford a mortgage and NEED to be in low-cost housing, or their credit rating is horrid, or their monthly expenses are too high – car payments, etc. This all works in my favour.

Where this gets kind of scary exciting is when I found out that indeed, based on my household income, I qualify for the full 40% they’re offering. What I’ve realized now that I’ve gotten home and had time to think is what this means. I could actually buy a NEW place priced at $170,000 and have $68,000 given to me for the down payment – my mortgage would only be $102,000. Whoa. This changes everything that I’ve thought about so far. I need to think about this a lot and look at all the options. I would sooner still have a lower mortgage so my monthly payments are much more manageable than what I pay now. If I was to get a $130,000 place, they’d give me $52,000, meaning my mortgage would only be $78,000. Wow…I have to think a lot about this. The big plus of getting a used place is that they’re usually landscaped. A new place will have everything brand new, but it won’t come with a washer & dryer (I don’t think), and the yard would be rocks. I could pick the interior layout, though…but my payments would be higher. So many things to think about!

Okay…so I asked Jason how long it would take to find out if I was approved and would get the word that I would get the cash. That’s when I found out that this could take some time. The program is for 189 families over 5 years. They’re going to be approving about 9 families per month for the rest of this year. Jason thanked me many times for bringing all of the information they required for the application – he said a lot of people’s applications aren’t complete. He said that on Thursday and Friday of this week he would be reviewing the money they’d be giving out for this month and that while the cutoff for this month had already passed, because my application was complete and all looked good, he would try to include it in the immediate review/ranking process. Wow.

Next, I told him that my apartment lease expires at the end of August. I asked his opinion on whether he thinks I should sign another 6-month lease, or go month-to-month at $100 more per month on my rent, still having to provide 2 months notice because of how long I’ve lived here. He thought about it for quite a while, and suggested I sign another lease because if the $100/month is going to be a hardship on me – which it will, unless I know it’s only for a few months. I don’t even have the slightest thought that I’ll be approved by this Friday, because he said to get in touch with him in 2 weeks to check on my application’s status, but I’m going to not sign a new lease until Friday…may as well drag it out until the last day…just in case. You never know what could happen in 48 hours.

Once I’m approved, I have 90 days to complete the sale transaction. That’s 3 months. I’m thinking that once I’m into my 6 months, I am confident I could probably get out of my lease. Apartments are at a premium in the city right now. I would still give them 2 months notice…unless they’d let me get away with less. You never know…a new tenant that they could lock into a longer lease might be better for everyone involved. I could also talk to them about sub-leasing because if I’m handed that much money for a down payment on a house, I can’t say no because of an apartment lease.

So, now it’s a waiting game. I know I’ll be approved based on what Jason said, it’s just a matter of where I rate for priority. I’m looking forward to the day I get that call so I can seriously look for a house. Being about to look at places knowing you can, right there and then make an offer on it is exciting.

It’s a happy day.

Charles

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