Life Updates

So, about buying a home

A lot has happened since the last time I posted an update. By which I mean an entire year and some change has passed. Basically, my first full year as a freelance writer has come and gone and, as should be expected, there have been a lot of changes. Most of which I’m not going to talk about right now.

Instead, I’m going to talk about buying a house.

The first update I should give is that I’m no longer in Michigan. As of August 2018, I am a proud resident of Pittsburgh, PA. Long story short: my family moved out here and I decided that, seeing as I work from home anyway, I’d rather settle somewhere closer to my family.

As a whole, this has been an excellent decision. For a start, Pittsburgh is much less expensive than Ann Arbor. My dream of owning a house, once five or so years away on the sort of money you make while freelancing, was suddenly a matter of months away. I’ve even started an application for a mortgage and have been in back and forth communication with a mortgage consultant regarding the documentation required.

And ultimately, that’s why I’m writing this update. Not necessarily because it’s anything that I feel anyone needs to know, but mainly because this process is stressing me out and I want it off my chest.

The gist of it comes down to documents. I need to prove to the bank that I really do make enough money for them to trust me with a mortgage. Ordinarily, this means sending in some tax documents, a W2, and maybe they call my employer and verify employment.

Except I don’t have an employer, I have clients. And as for tax documents and W2s…

Well, that part is complicated.

The point we’re at right now is that I’ve sent my tax documents and gotten a request for additional information. This isn’t bad, necessarily, if anything it’s perfectly understandable. I, for one, have never done this before so I’m not at all surprised that I didn’t send them enough information.

As of this writing, I’m presently playing phone tag with the (very nice) mortgage consultant who’s been handling my application, which is why I’m dashing off a quick blog post rather than sending in several hundred pages of tax documents, paystubs, spreadsheets, and what have you.

Maybe at this point I should take a moment to make a point about being a single, female, self-employed millennial interested in buying a home. And while there are many points to be made there, that’s not really what I’m feeling right now. I’m not at the point where I’m complaining about the system, because so far everything I’ve encountered has been more or less fair.

That said, I am excited by the prospect of being able to own a house, and fearful of being denied. I guess that’s the root of my anxiety over this latest request for additional information. As with all such requests, I have a limited timeframe to get it right (30 days from the request being sent), at which point my application will be thrown out. I want to get it right. I have a unique opportunity right now thanks to the generosity of my family, which means that I have a (temporary) rent-free living situation that allows me to reach for a goal that I’ve long wanted and long feared I wouldn’t be able to achieve.

I’ve saved up for this, for years, and so much of what I want from my life going forward could be impacted for the better if I can secure myself a living situation in which I can accrue wealth by owning property rather than spending it through renting.

I don’t want to get it wrong. Thankfully, the consultant has been helpful, so I’ve no doubt he’ll get back to me and we’ll soon get in touch. In the meantime, though, I’ll continue collecting all the documents I think the letter means and saving them in a folder on my computer. Hopefully, it’ll be the matter of a quick email after a quick, clarifying phone conversation, and then I can finally move forward again.

For now though, back to work. I got things to write.

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