Two Lessons from My First Mortgage

Two years after my wife and I married, we grew tired of living in the tiny house we rented in rural West Virginia. We wanted a place of our own — preferably one without forced air coal heat that turned all our belongings black.

Driving around, we found the perfect house — a new, still under construction, three bedroom ranch in a quiet neighborhood. We were working with a great realtor who helped us negotiate a great price. The house was ours — or so I thought.

I had saved money from my stint in the Navy and had enough for a significant down payment — almost 40%. Although I didn’t make much money back in those days, my large down payment would make the mortgage payments manageable.

I went down to the bank where I had my accounts and applied for a mortgage, thinking, “This is a no brainer.” You can imagine my disappointment when I got turned down. A small post card arrived in the mail telling me of the denial — without explanation. (That is why I now do my banking with my credit union!)

Fortunately, my realtor was friends another banker and set up an appointment. He looked at the loan the same way I did — mainly that he couldn’t go wrong with such a large down payment. The fact that I was brought up with the mindset that you pay your debts each month before you eat didn’t hurt my case either.

He gave us the (at the time) fantastic rate of seven and a quarter percent and we were on our way.  My how times have changed!

I learned two valuable lessons that day. First, work with people who are willing to listen to you and work with you. 

Second, if you’re bringing a good offer to the table, be persistent — don’t give up and think, “I can’t get financing.” Find someone who will listen.

At Hanscom FCU, we will listen and do our best to work with you.

Learn more about the mortgage application process in our free Home Buyer’s Handbook.

First Time Homebuyers Handbook CTA


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About Author

Bill Burpeau
Bill Burpeau

Bill Burpeau is a Financial Wellness Coach at Hanscom FCU. As a Credit Union Certified Financial Counselor, he is an enthusiastic advocate of everyone being engaged in their financial health, educated and empowered to make the best financial decisions for themselves every day. He constantly studies and is up to date with the latest financial management concepts and technology. Bill is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA in Business Management and served in the U.S. Navy as a Supply Officer.

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