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Clergy Trying To Buy Home - How Do We Qualify Out Of State?

by Jill
(Watsontown, PA, USA)

My husband and I are both ordained pastors (two different denominations). We reside in a parsonage, so we have no equity built-up. However, we are both being offered calls out of state and will need to buy a house. I am a first-time home buyer. We cannot start our new calls before we move; we cannot move and retain our current calls. There will be no gap in income and two housing allowances to use. However, we are having issues obtaining a lender. We will have contracts containing our full salary information once the calls are finalized--we will have proof of our jobs in other words. However, we need to have a place to live and do not want to keep up-rooting our children by renting for a few months and then moving into our home. Our housing allowances will (combined) be 2400.00 a month. We will have to give 30 days notice in our current calls before moving to our new calls.

If we were moving in-state this would not be so difficult because we could use our local bank. But, moving across the country (from PA to IL) is causing headaches. Should we wait until we have contracts? That is about a month down the road...we would like to get some things moving...but no one seems to be able to give us straight answers!


Hello Jill,

Thank you for stopping by my site and asking your questions. I must say, this is the first one for me. I never had a question like this one before.
Since you're a first time home buyer, the FHA Home Loan would be your best loan product to pursue. If you use the link I provided, there you will find lot's of info.

I would suggest you get all the loan documents done and out of the way for the FHA home loan. You will need proof of income for when you move, so the contract would be best. However, you may be able to get letters of intent from your new calls to help the process along. If the new churches want you bad enough, they should not have too much trouble giving you this. You just have to make sure that is where you want to work, salaries agreed upon etc.

So what I'm saying here is: get all the initial paperwork done with a national lender and get yourself pre-approved for a home loan based on your projected income.

Then once you have the new contract for employment, you could maybe go to your new location and begin shopping for a home. I would do as much shopping online as you can first. Line up several homes you want to view, go there and make your selection and sign a purchase agreement.

Your mortgage pre-approval letter will serve as proof to the Realtor you are a serious buyer. They are a little shy about working with people who have not been pre-approved first.

Now be sure you are getting pre-approved and not pre-qualified. There is a big difference. You want the lender to get you all approved for a mortgage based on the maximum loan amount you can qualify for with the property address to be determined. So the underwriter will have already approved your file and issues a pre-approval letter.

Once you have this letter from the lender, it's like having cash in your hand. Then go shopping for a home. The only bit of paperwork left would be your contract for employment and the home purchase agreement. They should be able to close the file in 30 days for you if you follow these suggestions.

I hope this helps. Please share my website with other people you know that can benefit. I try to help people understand the complicated mortgage process.

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