Ammortization Woes

It has been a long time since I felt like math could bring me to tears–sometime in the 12th grade probably. But the other night, as I tried desperately to compare mortgage terms among different lenders, I thought it would happen again.

This past weekend, Erik and I put a contract in on a great house in South Stafford. After only a month of looking, we found a house that we both felt “spoke to us.” We spent Saturday madly trying to get an offer in and a contract finalized. Late Saturday night, we got the good news. We thought the hard work was over. We were wrong.

On Monday we began the process of calling several lenders to find out what they could offer us. We felt like we really needed to compare the terms, because, well, that’s what everyone said we should do.

I should mention that this is our first home, our first mortgage, and the first time I’ve dealt with any math beyond simple arithmetic in about 12 years. What a nightmare! I mean, the lenders seem to be doing their utmost to make it impossible to do a clear comparison.

After hours in front of Excel spreadsheets on Tuesday night, I had enough. I was ready to give up on a house and spend the rest of my life renting. Renting is easy!

At some point I guess I had a minor breakthrough and realized that, basically, although all the lenders offered different rates, pmis, points, and fees, the monthly bottom line for all of them was basically the same, give or take 20 bucks. We decided to just go with the one that came the most highly recommended.

I thought this would be a straightforward situation of bargain shopping. Instead, I feel like I wasted 20 hours on this process. I just hope the rest of our foray into first-time home buying isn’t nearly as painful

Today, we’re off to the home inspection. Wish us luck!