Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Application process: This SH*T is crazy right here
Last post was regarding the cathartic cleansing (and cleaning) of our apartment, to get rid of all our excess crap that we don’t want to take with us into the next life. If you want to hear more about that, read one post previous. But the thing we didn’t get to was that upon returning home from our trip to California to visit Amanda’s brother and wife (who is five month’s pregnant), we received our letter from the co-op board regarding our application. Or more precisely, regarding the process for completing our application process. (Quick note on missed opportunity: Amanda’s brother also recently bought a home and we saw it for the first time…we should’ve taken pictures to show the world for a before and after…as we work towards our spin off of Apartment hunting sucks/rocks, L.A.)
Amanda and I know we are not the first people to ever buy a co-op and certainly not the first ones to ever have to deal with submitting an application, but I must admit that seeing the sheer number of things they want from you is enough to send your head into a tail spin. Of course, they also want 5 copies of everything, which only adds to the confusion.
Now I know that most people who have owned an apartment say this process isn’t that bad (or actually it is…as it seems they want to know everything about you including DNA and past sexual partners), but for anyone doing this for the first time, it can feel like a nightmare.
Come to think of it, this will be the first time Amanda or I have ever been forced to take stock of all of life: I don’t think either of us have been on top of keeping order of our tax returns, past leases, and more. In the future, I think, as you get older perhaps one gets a bit more organized…but I know this will be a first.
Anyhow, this is what we have to get together just to get the application submitted (please note, commentary added):
5 (count 'em 1-2-3-4-5) copies of:
1. The previous five years of your tenancy history including:
a. Address and unit number of each lease held
b. Starting and ending dates of each lease held
c. Name and phone number of each landlord
d. Name and phone number of each managing agent
e. Copies of each lease held. (I get the feeling this one will be a nightmare. Updated: already called my former management companies and they have already put all the leases into archive).
2. The previous five years employment history including:
a. Starting and ending dates of each job held
b. Name, address and phone number of each place of employment
c. Name of supervisor at each place of employment
d. Statement of whether employment was full or part time
e. Reasons for leaving each place of employment
f. Detailed description of any times when not employed.
3. Tax returns for the latest 3 years, including copies of w-2 federal wage statements.
4. Complete list of all current assets (including bank accounts, trading accounts, IRAs, 401ks, etc) with account statements going back at least 2 years. (did this already when submitting bid for apartment)
5. Complete list of all current liabilities (including rent/mortgage, maintenance, home insurance, outstanding loans, car payments, auto insurance, and credit card bills for the past six months) with most recent account statements (ditto to above)
6. Copy of mortgage applications, commitment letter and loan approval package pertinent to this acquisition. (ditto)
7. Three months of most recent pay stubs.
8. Define the source of any deposit already committed, as well as the projected down payment for the property.
9. Credit report from experian (only one copy needed). Please note that this report must be presented in the original, unopened envelope as mailed to you. As a warning, this report will be sent to you in a non-descript envelope with simply a PO Box as a return address. (interestingly enough, we already had our credit report checked when we applied for mortgage guarantee, but it's a formality. interesting though that they want it unopened, as if we were going to photoshop it to make it better...then again i do work in advertising).
10. Please identify any guarantor or co-signator acting on your behalf in regards to your mortgage commitment. If such person is identified, please submit the complete shareholder application financial package regarding him/her.
That enough to make your head go wheeeeee? Well, the good news is that we aren’t the first people to have to do this and we certainly won’t be the last. And I think the thing we have realized during this process is that we really want this blog to not only provide entertaining commentary for our friends, but also to be a guiding post for those of you who are thinking about buying your first apartment. It’s definitely an overwhelming and truly ‘adult’ experience, but it’s something that most people will have to do in their lifetime, and both Amanda and I believe it’s easier to get some guidance from someone who has experienced what you are going through before, or at least share their experiences. Not sure the point of this diatribe, other than to say that if you are thinking about buying, don’t let this posting scare you. Our game plan for tackling this sucker is to break it down into the sum of its parts. I think if you look at the number of things that have to get done as one giant monster, it’ll never happen, but if you do it instead, brick by brick, you’ll see yourself make progress pretty quickly. It also probably doesn’t hurt if you have your shit in order.
The fun begins.