This post is in partnership with Own Up, a company that we really like.
There are some aspects of adulting that still feel intimidating. With COVID, everyone is spending more time at home these days, and lately we’ve been delving back into the world of mortgages and real estate, as we start to outgrow our space. We own the apartment we live in currently, and moved here seven years ago. It has been a perfect place to live as a couple, and then with one small child. We have 2 bedrooms, but the second bedroom is quite petite, and more suited to a toddler bed than to a twin bed. At 755 square feet, our sweet little space meant that we have had to be intentional about what we own, and use the space wisely. However, the location in the center of Beacon Hill and proximity to so many amazing aspects of city life (including a great playground we didn’t even have to cross the street to get to, and a nursery school a 2 minute walk away!) meant that there were so many activities at our finger tips. I loved being able to walk everywhere we needed to go, and much of each day was spent out and about, meeting friends, visiting museums, at playgrounds or at music or sports classes. This past year we have been primarily at home, as have many of you, and I miss those public spaces so much! I can’t wait until we are able to enjoy them again!
Besides the intensity with which we are using our private space these days, I am also expecting a second baby — literally any day now! For both those reasons, we are looking to move into a larger space in the late summer or early fall. We will wait to hear the results from the Boston Public School lottery before moving — keep your fingers crossed for us! We would love to stay in the city, but to do that we need to get a school placement at one of the schools we like that aren’t too far away. If we strike out in the lottery, then we would think about surrounding towns as well, where schools are based on neighborhood zones instead of lottery numbers. 😉
With so many things up in the air and changes happening soon, we definitely don’t want to have to stress about finding the best mortgage rate. It was perfect timing that Own Up reached out about working together, right at the time we had started thinking about our upcoming move! We went through the beginning of their process and were super impressed, and wanted to share a little bit about the company with our readers.
When we bought our current apartment, we worked with a lender recommended by our realtor. Some people work with a mortgage broker to compare rates from various lenders for them, but for this service the broker will take a percentage paid by the lender, so they aren’t always able to offer the best rates. The mortgage marketplace Own Up fills a similar role, but as a mortgage technology company, they are able streamline the process to help match potential homebuyers with the right lender. Own Up helps clients shop around for the right mortgage, but once selected the home buyer uploads their paperwork directly to the lender. With this system, they help with the hard part of guiding the client in selecting the best loan, but because they don’t handle the every day paperwork they are able to take a smaller percentage, and thus offer clients better rates. (To compare, many mortgage salespeople earn a typical 1.15% from the lender; in contrast, Own Up’s more efficient process means they earn 0.4% and are thus able to pass along a better rate to their clients.) Everyone has a slightly different situation, and because each lender uses a slightly different analysis, the most advantageous loan for each person will vary — which is why it is so helpful to have a professional to help guide the process.
We went through the first steps of working with Own Up and were so impressed. After filling out a simple online survey about their individual situation, home buyers schedule a quick phone call with a home advisor to talk through any other details and answer questions. We spoke on the phone with VP of Sales Caroline McCarthy, who was so helpful, and later that day were sent a few pre-approval offers. Own Up only does a soft credit check (which doesn’t affect your credit score), anonymizes the data, and shops it out, so the client receives multiple offers from lenders without passing on their contact information directly. Own Up has partnerships with many lenders, both small scale local lenders and credit unions, as well as larger institutions. A pre-authorization letter can be printed out right from their website. So easy! It was great to be able to compare the options so quickly, and without too much work.
I am so excited about welcoming a new baby soon, and it will feel great to figure out the elementary school path for Serena. This apartment has been such a wonderful home for us over the years, and it will certainly be bittersweet to leave! Buying a new home involves so many moving parts, and I’m glad to have discovered Own Up to make at least one little piece of that puzzle easier.
This post is in partnership with Own Up, a company that we really like. As always, all opinions are our own. Thank you for reading The Boston Day Book!