My initial experience securing a home loan was atypical, according to all of my homeowner friends who’ve gone through the process. The first lender I spoke with, via email, was incredibly condescending and, frankly, rude. I can overlook a level of curtness in emails because I understand it’s hard to convey tone, but the things he was writing and then not explaining when I would ask pointed follow ups baffled even my realtor and subsequent lenders I spoke with.

Over four days, we emailed back and forth and I was trying to give him an idea of where I’m at financially (in addition to sending him all of my personal financial documents) and explaining to him how fluid my financial situation is since I will have a sizable gift from my mother toward the downpayment. Depending on the cost of the house, my mom may give me a bigger or smaller gift. The lender emails me to say, “I can’t approve you with hypotheticals, I need exact figures.”

How can I give you exact figures for a house that isn’t even on the market yet? The whole point of getting pre-approved is so that I know what I can afford and I can go find a house based on that. He was incredibly frustrating to work with. “You can only buy a house you’re approved for.” I mean, I know I can only buy a house I can afford, but if I have to give you an address… ? I requested three times that he refer me to another loan officer. The referral was equally annoying and, in the end, I withdrew my application. 

Meanwhile, in those four days sending frustrating emails back and forth with my preferred banking institution that I would’ve really liked to have had a 30 year mortgage with (this one irritating employee aside), I spoke with five other lenders. Every single one of them picked up the phone to call me. They were all very nice, would offer up suggestions, and would run different numbers through to give me an idea of what payments would be like at different home values. I have three pre-approval letters that I have forwarded to my realtor and I am ready to buy the next house I fall in love with.

While I wait, I’m packing, picking out wall paint and furniture, and considering if I should cut the cord and ditch cable.

Unrelated: I continue not to understand aisle people.