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rob999

Buying a home when married vs before marriage

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Hi All,

I'm (beneficiary) currently in the TSC backlog of my K1 application, submitted November so am hoping that we get approved in the next couple of months, the wait is a total killer!

My fiancee who lives in Texas has a son whom is starting school in August so she needs to move to another school district to get a better school than the one she is currently living in, this needs to be done June/July to make it in time for the August registration. I think the earliest I'll be out there is late September, and we'll get married the same week I land. I'll have no employment for 3 - 4 months. And of course no credit rating for a good while.

My fiancee has got pre-approved based on her income for a home loan. The rate is not great compared to rates that could be got if we raised her credit rating by 40 points, though that'll take time (probably by that time interest rates would have gone up negating the work on the credit, who knows).

In any case we are in a position where if we see something we like we could go for it. I was wondering if anyone knew what would happen if we couldn't find anything before we got married. What happens with the application of a home loan when we are married as I have no credit rating (and maybe no income)? Can we still apply for a home loan just on my fiancee's salary like we have now? Would they just ignore me (even if I had a job too) as my credit rating will be low or non-existent?

We have thought about renting for the next six to twelve months but are worried about the above and also missing out on the low interest rates.

Any experiences on buying a home during the K1 and early parts of AOS process?

Thanks for any advice/help!


K1 Timeline

November 21st 2013 - First Met

November 18th 2014 - I-129f Submitted

November 24th 2014 - NOA 1

May 22nd 2015 - NOA 2 - no RFE!

June 4th 2015 - Case Sent to NVC

June 6th 2015 - NVC receives case

June 15th 2015 - Case Sent to Embassy

June 16th 2015 - Phoned NVC and finally got case number (tried 12th June and had not been assigned)

June 16th 2015 - Medical booked

June 21st 2015 - Sent Packet "3" - DS 160 and readiness

June 25th 2015 - Embassy sends letter in receipt of receiving case

June 30th 2015 - Medical

July 28th 2015 - Interview - Approved!

August 3rd 2015 - Email request to collect from courier office (Went straight from "Ready" to "Issued" did not see AP in CEAC)

August 4th 2015 - Collected packet from Chancery Lane Courier Office

August 7th 2015 - Arrived in Houston and end of K1 journey :)

Adjustment of Status Timeline

August 10th 2015 - Applied for SSN, obtained SSN number next day

August 15th 2015 - SSN card arrived

August 20th 2015 - Married! :)

August 24th 2015 - sent packet to USCIS via FedEx [AOS, AP & EAD]

August 26th 2015 - packet received at USCIS

August 28th 2015 - NOA 1 for all three applications

September 15th 2015 - RFE - request 1040A, W2's was not enough

September 24th 2015 - Biometrics completed

September 28th 2015 - RFE response received by USCIS

October 27th 2015 - EAD approved

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I was not able to be included in a loan for the house OR financing our car, not because of a brand new credit existence but instead because my green card would expire before the life of the loan came to term. That was an interesting situation to be in as I had not considered that before. I was always worried about not having a credit rating at all but instead it was about my green card expiring in two years. Each situation is different obviously so I just wanted to share mine for your consideration.

It was almost a year for me being here before I was able to get any credit cards (first a secured one and then others) and am working to build up my credit score that way. Unfortunately paying the bills off every month isn't nearly enough since the length of the history has a lot of weight, too.


USCIS - 40 DAYS
2012-10-30: FedEx delivered I-130 to Chicago Lockbox Mail Room
2012-11-01: NOA1 by email - MSC
2012-11-02: $420 (x3) debited from our account
2012-11-05: NOA1 hard copies received, Priority Date 2012-10-30
2012-12-11: NOA2


NVC - 26 DAYS
2013-01-02: Rec'd case#, IIN, BIN & OPTIN emails for EP sent
2013-01-03: Submitted DS-261 (x3)
2013-01-07: AOS bills invoiced and paid & OPTIN for EP accepted for each of us
2013-01-08: AOS bills appear as paid & AOS packages sent by email
2013-01-08: IV bill invoiced & paid (kids' only)
2013-01-09: IV bill appears as paid (kids' only)
2013-01-09: IV Package emailed & DS-260 submitted online (kids only)
2013-01-11: AOS received -notified by email
2013-01-11: IV bill invoiced & paid (for me)
2013-01-14: IV bill appears as paid (for me)
2013-01-14: IV Supporting Docs received for kids - notified by email
2013-01-14: IV Package emailed & DS-260 submitted online (me only)
2013-01-18: IV Supporting Docs received for me - notified by email
2013-01-18: Son#1 CASE COMPLETE - Son#2 checklist - saying $ on I-864 don't match tax return (but they do)-resubmitted
2013-01-23: AOS 2nd submission for Son #2 received - notified by email
2013-01-25: My CASE COMPLETE
2013-01-28: ALL 3 OF OUR CASES ARE NOW COMPLETE
2013-02-06: Packet 4 Received by email

MEDICAL ~ CONSULATE ~ POE REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS - 160 DAYS NATURALIZATION
2013-02-13: Medicals 2014-12-17: Delivered to California Lockbox 2015-12-15: Delivered to Phoenix Lockbox
2013-03-06: Interview 2014-12-19: 1 I-751 + 3 Biometrics Fees debited from our account 2015-12-16: Fees charged to Credit Card
2013-03-08: Visas in-hand 2014-12-22: Received NOA1 by mail. Receipt Date: 2014-12-17 2015-12-17: NOA
2013-03-12: Paid USCIS Immigrant Fee 2014-12-24: Received Biometrics Appointment Letter 2016-01-02: Biometrics Letter 2016-01-11: Biometrics
2013-03-14: POE 2015-01-06: Biometrics 2016-02-15: In Line for Interview 2016-02-19: Letter
2013-03-25: SSNs arrived 2015-05-27: Approved 2016-03-22: Interview
2013-04-01: Green Cards arrived 2015-06-03: New Green Cards arrived 2016-04-15: Oath Ceremony

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I was not able to be included in a loan for the house OR financing our car, not because of a brand new credit existence but instead because my green card would expire before the life of the loan came to term. That was an interesting situation to be in as I had not considered that before. I was always worried about not having a credit rating at all but instead it was about my green card expiring in two years. Each situation is different obviously so I just wanted to share mine for your consideration.

It was almost a year for me being here before I was able to get any credit cards (first a secured one and then others) and am working to build up my credit score that way. Unfortunately paying the bills off every month isn't nearly enough since the length of the history has a lot of weight, too.

Thanks for the replies. Did the mortgage company ever look at your finances though during home loan evaluation even though you are not on the loan? I ask as technically your partner is financially responsible for you in the states as your petitioner until you become a citizen. So I wondered if the loan company took that into account like a "dependent" when assessing the financial income of your partner.


K1 Timeline

November 21st 2013 - First Met

November 18th 2014 - I-129f Submitted

November 24th 2014 - NOA 1

May 22nd 2015 - NOA 2 - no RFE!

June 4th 2015 - Case Sent to NVC

June 6th 2015 - NVC receives case

June 15th 2015 - Case Sent to Embassy

June 16th 2015 - Phoned NVC and finally got case number (tried 12th June and had not been assigned)

June 16th 2015 - Medical booked

June 21st 2015 - Sent Packet "3" - DS 160 and readiness

June 25th 2015 - Embassy sends letter in receipt of receiving case

June 30th 2015 - Medical

July 28th 2015 - Interview - Approved!

August 3rd 2015 - Email request to collect from courier office (Went straight from "Ready" to "Issued" did not see AP in CEAC)

August 4th 2015 - Collected packet from Chancery Lane Courier Office

August 7th 2015 - Arrived in Houston and end of K1 journey :)

Adjustment of Status Timeline

August 10th 2015 - Applied for SSN, obtained SSN number next day

August 15th 2015 - SSN card arrived

August 20th 2015 - Married! :)

August 24th 2015 - sent packet to USCIS via FedEx [AOS, AP & EAD]

August 26th 2015 - packet received at USCIS

August 28th 2015 - NOA 1 for all three applications

September 15th 2015 - RFE - request 1040A, W2's was not enough

September 24th 2015 - Biometrics completed

September 28th 2015 - RFE response received by USCIS

October 27th 2015 - EAD approved

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I owned a home when my fiancé came. We decided to buy a new house in the Houston area. I applied for the mortgage only in my name because he was a new immigrant with no credit rating or income. You do not have to buy as a couple. The new house was only in my name as were the utilities. It did not affect immigration or removing conditions.

I wouldn't rush into a home by June just because of registration. He can still attend a school, even if he doesn't move until after school starts. I don't know his age, but kids are flexible and a little while in what she considers a bad school district is probably not going to ruin him for life especially if it's kindergarten. Good vs bad schools is often subjective depending on what soccer mom you are talking too. And elementary schools and teachers within the same district are not even equal. That's the former teacher in me talking. Unless she knows the specific school is the most horrible ghetto school in all of Houston from observation, then it may not be so extremely urgent. It can be tough to go to a rich kid school and deal with their issues and mom's too. Don't know your situation so just throwing that out there if it applies.

Do you really think mortgage rates will rise significantly? They have been low and lower for a very long time. Try this trend thing http://www.hsh.com/mortgage_rate_trends/. On the other hand, house prices continue to rise with new growth. Just saw today Forbes has named Houston the fastest growing city in the US. Our home is worth over $100k more than we paid less than 6 years ago.

Best advice I can give is don't rush or settle. Find a home you really love, the best deal available, and then buy. The future of rates or housing markets is unpredictable. If you find something in the summer then go for it and don't look back. When you get a job and credit, you can always refinance if there is an advantage or lower rates. You can pay extra principal each month and knock down your mortgage by years. You can buy another house. So many options are possible. Renting is a safe option, but the money isn't going toward any equity. Pros and cons and no definite right or wrong decision.


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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Thanks for info! Just wanted to check there's no difference between pre-marriage to post-marriage but sounds all good. Yeah totally agree, my thinking is to be ready as much as possible so when we do find "the" house we have everything in place to buy it. So we don't miss any opportunities, plenty of houses come on every week in Houston so it seems a case of waiting for a good candidate home.

Re. Interest rates, interesting at the moment, from what I have read its all waiting on what the federal reserve will do. They have said that they will increase interest rates but are debating over increasing mid-2015 or 2016. With the dollar strong at the moment there doesnt seem to be a big push to do so with the euro all concerned over Greece and Japan struggling a bit at the moment. Its all crystal ball stuff as always but the one "fact" seems to be that they won't go lower than today so if we get an opportunity then we should take it. My thinking is just make sure in this first step we do our best to avoid being too hasty which we regret later on.


K1 Timeline

November 21st 2013 - First Met

November 18th 2014 - I-129f Submitted

November 24th 2014 - NOA 1

May 22nd 2015 - NOA 2 - no RFE!

June 4th 2015 - Case Sent to NVC

June 6th 2015 - NVC receives case

June 15th 2015 - Case Sent to Embassy

June 16th 2015 - Phoned NVC and finally got case number (tried 12th June and had not been assigned)

June 16th 2015 - Medical booked

June 21st 2015 - Sent Packet "3" - DS 160 and readiness

June 25th 2015 - Embassy sends letter in receipt of receiving case

June 30th 2015 - Medical

July 28th 2015 - Interview - Approved!

August 3rd 2015 - Email request to collect from courier office (Went straight from "Ready" to "Issued" did not see AP in CEAC)

August 4th 2015 - Collected packet from Chancery Lane Courier Office

August 7th 2015 - Arrived in Houston and end of K1 journey :)

Adjustment of Status Timeline

August 10th 2015 - Applied for SSN, obtained SSN number next day

August 15th 2015 - SSN card arrived

August 20th 2015 - Married! :)

August 24th 2015 - sent packet to USCIS via FedEx [AOS, AP & EAD]

August 26th 2015 - packet received at USCIS

August 28th 2015 - NOA 1 for all three applications

September 15th 2015 - RFE - request 1040A, W2's was not enough

September 24th 2015 - Biometrics completed

September 28th 2015 - RFE response received by USCIS

October 27th 2015 - EAD approved

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I think setting a deadline to purchase a home is always a bad idea. For many, a home is the largest investment that they will ever make, thus being prudent and patient about said purchase is encouraged. I really wouldn't worry about rates/values unless you are purchasing home for speculative purposes. No one truly knows what is going to happen and markets work in mysterious ways that no one truly understands. With all the people being laid off in Houston because of the oil crunch, who knows what effect that will have on values here even if rates do rise?

Anyways, financially speaking, it makes more sense for both of you to be working when purchasing a home. I don't know your hubbie's finances, but what would happen if he/she suddenly loses their job and mortgage payments are due? Having work authorisation would definitely alleviate stress for both of you and could allow you to cashflow possible repairs and withstand unforseen layoffs......


I-129F: Sent 9/5/2014
I-129F: Arrived at Lewisville 9/8/2014
I-129F: NOA1 Text message/mail 9/11/2014
I-129F: Alien Registration Number Changed 9/16/2014
I-129F: Request to correct on document or notice assigned to an officer for response 10/25/2014
I-129F: Name Change request made 10/31/2014
I-129F: NOA 2 Text message/mail 4/6/2015

I-129F: NOA 2 Hardcopy 4/9/2015

I-129F: Sent to NVC 4/13/2015

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Just something else to think about- Texas is a community property state. Anything bought prior to marriage belongs to that individual only. Not that I wish you ill, but if 10 years from now you divorce, the house would still be 100% hers, regardless of who actually pays the mortgage. If you wait until after marriage to buy the house, it is joint property, regardless of who obtains the mortgage or how it is titled.

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I've heard the interest rates will start going up in September. Right now it's a seller's market and you end up paying a premium for a home, depending on location of course.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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I was not able to be included in a loan for the house OR financing our car, not because of a brand new credit existence but instead because my green card would expire before the life of the loan came to term. That was an interesting situation to be in as I had not considered that before. I was always worried about not having a credit rating at all but instead it was about my green card expiring in two years. Each situation is different obviously so I just wanted to share mine for your consideration.

It was almost a year for me being here before I was able to get any credit cards (first a secured one and then others) and am working to build up my credit score that way. Unfortunately paying the bills off every month isn't nearly enough since the length of the history has a lot of weight, too.

The best source for information on home loans, car loans, and credit cards (basically any type of loan) is myfico.com

Go on their forum section and start reading its amazing how much you can learn just like here in VJ. I found that website 3 years ago when I was a F1 student and I have a SSN so I started building my credit up, following their tips now I have good credit and great credit lines, even tho I was out of status for the last 2 1/2 years. There are lots to learn about the credit ratings and ways to increase your score.


-AOS sent (I-485 I-130 and I-765) 03/06/15

-AOS delivered 03/09/15

-NOA email/text 03/13/15

-NOA in the mail 03/20/15

-Biometric letter 03/27/15

-Biometric appointment 04/06/15

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I was not able to be included in a loan for the house OR financing our car, not because of a brand new credit existence but instead because my green card would expire before the life of the loan came to term. That was an interesting situation to be in as I had not considered that before. I was always worried about not having a credit rating at all but instead it was about my green card expiring in two years. Each situation is different obviously so I just wanted to share mine for your consideration.

It was almost a year for me being here before I was able to get any credit cards (first a secured one and then others) and am working to build up my credit score that way. Unfortunately paying the bills off every month isn't nearly enough since the length of the history has a lot of weight, too.

So how is any LPR able to buy a house ever? Dnt green cards expire after 10years? Most mortgages are 15 to 30 years long. Just paying your credit cards bill on time dnt help your score that much, your Utilization has a lot to do with your current score, try to keep your utilization under 30% to maximize your score. For an example if you have 6 credit cards and each have 5k limits your total revolving credit limit is 30k and your best score will be when only 1 credit card report use and it is lower than 1.5k


-AOS sent (I-485 I-130 and I-765) 03/06/15

-AOS delivered 03/09/15

-NOA email/text 03/13/15

-NOA in the mail 03/20/15

-Biometric letter 03/27/15

-Biometric appointment 04/06/15

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So how is any LPR able to buy a house ever? Dnt green cards expire after 10years? Most mortgages are 15 to 30 years long. Just paying your credit cards bill on time dnt help your score that much, your Utilization has a lot to do with your current score, try to keep your utilization under 30% to maximize your score. For an example if you have 6 credit cards and each have 5k limits your total revolving credit limit is 30k and your best score will be when only 1 credit card report use and it is lower than 1.5k

You do not need to be a USC to buy a home. You do not even have to be an LPR to buy a home. Canadian citizens do it all the time.

Also when you're married and you co-mingle your finances, the LPR's credit rating can dramatically increase if the USC has good credit.

Plus I was able to use my excellent Canadian credit to secure a credit card in the USA with a bank that does cross border accounts.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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You do not need to be a USC to buy a home. You do not even have to be an LPR to buy a home. Canadian citizens do it all the time.

Also when you're married and you co-mingle your finances, the LPR's credit rating can dramatically increase if the USC has good credit.

Plus I was able to use my excellent Canadian credit to secure a credit card in the USA with a bank that does cross border accounts.

Correct, that's what I thought. I just asked that because, Ms Hogans post says she wasn't able to be included in the mortgage because her green card would expire before the term of the loan. I wonder who told her such a lie.


-AOS sent (I-485 I-130 and I-765) 03/06/15

-AOS delivered 03/09/15

-NOA email/text 03/13/15

-NOA in the mail 03/20/15

-Biometric letter 03/27/15

-Biometric appointment 04/06/15

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Correct, that's what I thought. I just asked that because, Ms Hogans post says she wasn't able to be included in the mortgage because her green card would expire before the term of the loan. I wonder who told her such a lie.

It may be whatever lender had such rules.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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So how is any LPR able to buy a house ever? Dnt green cards expire after 10years? Most mortgages are 15 to 30 years long. Just paying your credit cards bill on time dnt help your score that much, your Utilization has a lot to do with your current score, try to keep your utilization under 30% to maximize your score. For an example if you have 6 credit cards and each have 5k limits your total revolving credit limit is 30k and your best score will be when only 1 credit card report use and it is lower than 1.5k

My husband bought a house last year when he still had a conditional green card, a mere 16 months after moving to the US.

Edited by mimolicious


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