No. of Recommendations: 3
I thought I'd close the loop on this now that we've found and closed on our house. After looking at a lot of houses, we finally decided to spend up and buy a house in Arlington with 20% down. For us, we just can't tolerate the long commutes others seem to handle and this way our children can walk to an excellent elementary school.

The investor for our jumbo loan ended up not allowing us to use a 401k loan for our down-payment, despite our mortgage broker's previous repeated reassurances that we could. Happily, we were able to obtain some family gift money to cover the shortfall, and our broker reimbursed us for the minimal fees we had incurred to get and repay the 401k loan. A good argument for working with a trustworthy broker as has been suggested here before.

Unsurprisingly, the loan process was definitely more painful than when we purchased in 2005, but I was able to stay on top of it thanks to good communication with our broker about how to document everything. My favorite moment was being told I'd have to explain a credit check that was incurred only because of the investor's insistence that we pay off the 401k loan (our regular online bank doesn't do cashier's checks, which the loan required, so I had to open a new account to get one written, which meant a credit check, which was then flagged for inquiry). I do understand why it was necessary, but it tickled my funny bone that the people demanding the explanation were responsible for the situation in the first place...

My least favorite thing was waiting to hear what the final closing number was going to be, as we needed to wire the money to our attorney the day before closing. They got us the number just 10 minutes before my bank's cutoff for a same day transfer, which cut things closer than I would have preferred.

Thanks everyone for your advice both about financing and potential towns in Massachusetts.
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