Buying a home as explained by swimming - Movement Mortgage Blog

Buying a house can be a confusing, often stressful process. But before you start to pull your hair out, take a deep breath. Imagine your home buying in a new light. What if purchasing a home was more like diving into an Olympic-size swimming pool, racing toward your dreams? Sure, there’s competition, chaos and even some cramps along the way. But the payoff? Worth every stroke. Take a look:

Pre-Season Training

Everyone knows top athletes have to train before they compete. They flip large tires, wiggle heavy ropes and, above all, hit the pool multiple times a day.

Swimming-02Just like those medal winners, you need to start with some heavy-lifting of your own before you buy a house. Think of it as financial fitness; just like athletes train their bodies, you need to whip your finances into shape. Make sure your credit score is healthy by paying your bills on time and not taking on any new debt close to the time you’d like to buy a house.

Build your savings account, and save up for the associated costs around buying a house, like your down payment, closing costs and more. Be prepared for a fairly hefty down payment and keep some money in the bank for unexpected costs or problems that may arise.

Start Strong

Any swimmer will tell you that a good start off the block or the wall is the best way to get ahead in a race. A poor start, delayed reaction time, or a slipped foot can put you in a position to need to fight for your spot early on in the race, instead of conserving energy for the final leg.

Similarly, starting your house hunt in the right way can set the tone for the whole process. If you start scrolling through Trulia listings before knowing exactly how much house you can afford, you run the risk of falling in love with a property well out of your price range.

Instead, call a mortgage professional to get the ball rolling. Movement loan officers will pass your application to a credit decision-maker (aka underwriter) — the only professional who can actually approve you for a loan — who will help you understand what you can afford before you even look at a house. Our team strives for a 6-hour underwrite*, so instead of submitting your documents and twiddling your thumbs (waiting…waiting…waiting), you’ll know sooner rather than later.

That’s the edge you need to start your race on the right stroke, as it were.

Full Streamline Ahead

Ever watched a swimming competition and wondered how the top athletes seem to magically appear halfway down the pool before they start swimming? That smooth underwater journey that carries them so far is called a streamline, and without it, they’d end up at the back of the pack. A good streamline sets the champions apart from the rest of their competition, and lets the swimmer conserve his or her legs and arms for the most important part of the race.

You might not have a streamline to carry you halfway down the pool in your housing search, but you have something better: Movement’s 7-Day Process. Our goal is to process every loan in just seven days*. Processing is the heavy lifting that makes your loan a reality. Credit reports and pay stubs are verified, references checked and details documented. It all has to be done, and done right, or you’ll never close.

Race On

Swimming-04-2OK, so they got a good start off the block, and they streamlined to the lead. But now the swimmers face the hard part: the race. This is where all that training, all the long hours in the pool and the gym, all the mental and physical fitness come into play. A successful race means a medal and pride for themselves and their country. An unsuccessful one means bitter disappointment, often on a worldwide stage.

Lucky for you, no one’s spectating your housing search. And now that you’ve reached out to a mortgage professional, gotten approved for your loan and shaped up your finances, you’re ready to start your quest for glory – and you’re in the lead. You might have a very specific idea of what you’re looking for, or it may be more of a vague picture of “home.” Either way, you’ve got to put in the hours searching for a house, visiting showings and (if you’re like me), making pro-con lists. The good news is, like those superior athletes, you’re prepared. You’ve worked hard to get here, and you’re ready for this.

The Final Lap

It all comes down to this. That final lap, that last stretch. Those last few seconds and milliseconds that can make the difference between swimmers hearing their national anthem play with laurels atop their heads and going home empty handed. This is the final push, this is where they leave it all in the pool. This is where they put all their energy, all their adrenaline; this is where they silence all the fears and doubts. This is where history is made.

You might not be racing for the chance to stand on a podium but “homeowner” has a pretty nice ring to it (and if you want, we’ll get you a block to stand on). So you’re racing to close. Closing on your house is the final lap, and thanks to our Upfront Underwriting, 7-Day Process and on-point closing department, you shouldn’t run into any surprises. You knew exactly what you could afford before you found your dream house so keep your head down, stretch out that final stroke, and hitting the wall before your opponents should be a breeze.

Awards Please

Just like that medal-winning swimming machine, you’ve done it! You’ve finished your race and emerged victorious. And like a champion, you deserve a reward. Except instead of standing on a podium, listening to “The Star-Swimming-03Spangled Banner,” you’re sitting in an office, probably listening to elevator music. But that doesn’t matter. Wear your (invisible) laurel crown proudly. Bask in the glory you’ve brought your nation, uh, family. Because you did it. You’re a winner. And now, you’ve got the keys to prove it. Congratulations, champ. You survived buying a house.


*While it is Movement Mortgage’s goal to provide underwriting results within six hours of receiving an application and process loans in seven days, extenuating circumstances may cause delays outside of this window.


About the Author:

Adam O'Daniel

Adam O'Daniel is Movement's Communications Director. He leads corporate communication and public relations efforts across the organization. Email him at