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Escrow, Pantry, and a few pictures :)

March 28th, 2016 at 05:52 pm

I signed the final offer paperwork today after work. C, our agent, was taking it to J, the mortgage person tonight.

In talking with J, I mentioned that I do NOT want to have my insurance/taxes held and paid by another company, but want to do it on my own. He told me that it was doable, but it would cost around $300 one time fee.

Um ... $300 one time fee to be in charge of my money over the life of the loan? What exactly is the problem here? (Well, one thing would be that they are charging me to NOT let them be in control of my money ...)

Does anyone else do their own escrow?

Am I foolish being willing to pay a one-time fee of ~$300 so that I can make sure I not only have my money sitting in the best interest bearing account, but also can know for sure that stuff will be paid on time!?

Our inspections are scheduled for April 8 - don't know what time just yet. Yikes! I'm going to be on pins and needles til then! I guess I should let my boss know I may need to take some time off during that day. Hopefully it will be in the afternoon so Mr FT can come and still get a good bit of sleep before work.

---
I'm thinking about how I can make the broom closet (which they call a pantry ...) into an actual pantry. Smile

Will have to look into shelving and stuff from various places. I'm thinking some kind of wire shelving and pull out wire drawers, etc. Leaving room for the broom too. Smile

--
I found out that there ARE some pictures online on different sites other than zillow. But I can't save any of them from the websites.

So ... here are a few pictures we took of the outside Sunday afternoon.

There's this one humongous old tree which may be dead - one huge branch towers *just* over the roof, and a few other branches touch the electricity lines. We're talking about whether it would be better to just get those branches trimmed (and if the electric company would do the ones on the lines) or how'd we go about getting the entire HUGE tree removed.

Would love any ideas regarding trees!

Huge tree in back of house


Part of side back yard


Mr FT adjusting his camera behind the compost bin fence


Dedicated garden area


View from behind garden tool shed


More pictures to come

21 Responses to “Escrow, Pantry, and a few pictures :)”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Wonder why the fee? We were told years ago we couldn't do our own insurance and taxes unless we had 20% as a down payment . We did so we could.

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I was told the fee was to "discourage" people from doing it. We are doing 20% down.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    Yes, the escrow thing is a racket, but it often is. I absolutely refuse to ever let the mortgage company handle my taxes and insurance. I've seen cases where bills did not get paid. Usually they charge you one way or another if you don't do the escrowed insurance/tax thing. It just depends on the lender.

    Last time we signed refinancing paperwork the notary kind of made a comment about accountants not doing the escrow thing. I am not surprised. We probably see a few too many escrow messes. Especially if we are dealing more with individuals/taxes.

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks MM! I know I've heard about horror stories, but when I mentioned that to J and C, they both were like, "we've had the whatever company handle our escrow our whole life and had no issues ..."

  5. MonkeyMama Says:

    To be fair, I am sure the messes are pretty rare. Just seems infinitely easier (to me) to take care of it myself. If I know I want it done right.

  6. snafu Says:

    Moving ahead so fast! The $ 300. fee sounds like a fee for the missed referral commission. Have you talked to your insurance agent to explain you'll be changing renter's insurance or vehicle insurance agent as there is typically paperwork and ask him to negotiate away that fee? There should be a significant reduction when home and taxes are very location specific. Just throwing it out there to prevent surprise, as a new home owner, you may be required to pay pro rated lump sum for their entire taxation year. The taxation year here is June - June. We have a monthly payment program BUt if a payment fails, no matter the reason, the entire year's sum is due immediately. [really fierce] If your heat, water, sewerage, trash, electric, internet/cable is part of your current rent package, those suppliers may require a lump sum deposit as you open new accounts. When you make arrangements for the home inspection, ask your expert to pay particular attention for evidence of rodents/vermin.

    IKEA is a terrific resource for fitting out a closet or cabinet if the dimensions work out. Lowe's and HD cut shelving to measure and there is a ton of detailed info on You Tube. Can you buy discounted gift cards as often mentioned on SA Forum? What flooring for majority of sf? A stick type Steamer is really helpful in a situation when previous owners may be unable to throughly clean every nook and cranny.

  7. snafu Says:

    There should be a significant reduction when home and taxes are very location specific. Just throwing it out there to prevent surprise, as a new home owner, you may be required to pay pro rated lump sum for their entire taxation year. The taxation year here is June - June. We have a monthly payment program BUt if a payment fails, no matter the reason, the entire year's sum is due immediately. [really fierce] When you make arrangements for the home inspection, ask your expert to pay particular attention for evidence of rodents/vermin.
    berspace
    ...so sorry, old story computer pitches sentences to cyberspace

  8. LuckyRobin Says:

    We paid our own taxes and insurance. But we went through our credit union and they don't put nonsensical fees onto everything.

  9. jokeabee Says:

    I also think it is absurd to have someone hold my money for me when I can just budget each month myself to make sure the property taxes and insurance are taken care of. We didn't have to pay a fee to escrow ourselves, though.

  10. creditcardfree Says:

    I would keep questioning that fee. They should not be charging you to do something on your own. You have met the minimum requirements with 20% down. We have always had them start the escrow and later changed it. Not sure if there was a fee. Last time we couldn't because of the type of loan. I've never had an issue with things getting paid when it was handled by the mortgage company. The worst part is that they hold more money than they need to!

    Yes, I would pay it if it came down to it. But I'd have them show you in the loan documents where that fee is required.

  11. CB in the City Says:

    I handle my own insurance/taxes -- I don't recall that I paid a fee; there didn't seem to be any pushback at all, that I remember.... Maybe it depends on the area. I did put more than 20% down, and I had a long credit history, of course.

  12. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Snafu - I have my insurance through Geico, Mr FT has his through a broker type place like what I think you're referring to. We haven't gotten that far yet. Smile
    LR - I agree that it seems like a nonsensical fee!

    Jokabee - Exactly!

    CCF - I plan on questioning it! If it gets right down to it though, I'd rather pay a paltry sum to manage my own money! Smile
    CB - You would think that 20% down and a score in the high 700s would be enough to convince them that I can handle my own insurance, etc. payments ..



  13. Rhonda Says:

    Hi FT,
    I'm a long time reader but have never commented before, I really enjoy your blog. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding & finding such a great house! I just wanted to weigh in on the $300 fee to handle your own taxes & insurance. We bought our house 14 years ago & ran into the same thing, our bank told us the reason for the fee was because it costs them a lot of time & resources to make sure that the taxes were actually paid if the homeowner handles it. I refused to pay it & told them that I would get the mortgage loan elsewhere if they charged it, they did wave it with a concession, I agreed to send them a copy of the paid tax receipts upon payment. That worked fine & we made sure to do that until we paid the mortgage off. Of course, that was 14 years ago & a small community bank. Try & see if they will work with you.

  14. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks Rhonda! Smile
    In the good news department - today I talked to J again, and he told me he would waive the fee! So, no escrow and no fee! I'm getting 3.875% interest rate for 30 years. It's more than the FHA loan would have been (3.25%) BUT no Mortgage Insurance and no escrow! Big Grin I'm A-Ok with it.

  15. creditcardfree Says:

    Good news on the fee! Interesting how things change....

  16. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Yep. I'm not sure exactly how it changed or why - maybe when he relooked at my assets and credit rating?? However it happened, it makes me happy. Smile

  17. LuckyRobin Says:

    Or maybe just because you raised a fuss about it. Most people won't bother or don't know they can question things like that.

  18. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That could definitely be part of it LR! Smile

  19. Rhonda Says:

    That is awesome they waived the fee & you ar getting such a great interest rate!

  20. Petunia 100 Says:

    I'd never heard of that ridiculous fee, either. I do have an escrow account, and... I like it. Smile It probably helps that it earns 2% interest. If savings account interest rates were higher, I might be inclined to cancel it and handle taxes and insurance myself.

  21. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks Rhonda, I think so too.

    Petunia - I have one account that pays 2.5%, and the netspend account that pays 5%.

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