So here's a brief intro to what's going on:

I have a job that moved me out of state for 2 years. My wife moved with me and found employment out here at a large online college (a physical campus position, that can't be moved to online). My time out here is up in the next few months so we decided to look into buying a house in our home state for when we move back. We've been preapproved for our price range (our preapproval is far above what we're willing to pay), but here's the catch:

My wife is interested in transferring to an office in our home state, but because of the volatile nature of today's employment she is afraid that asking might get her sent packing immediately. Her boss was fired within the past few weeks and they are threatening anyone who tries to take a long vacation/medical leave with termination.

I thought of maybe sending her home soon to try to find new employment and I have a lot of contacts that would hire her at a decent salary, but I was told by the mortgage broker and my real estate agent that getting a new job is the equivalent of not having one unless it is a clean transfer with her current company that shows continuous employment or she works at her new employer for 6-12 months.  

So basically I'm at the question of when does she have her bring this to her boss, or should she try to find someone higher up to contact? Right now the mortgage broker says as long as she has this job, we're approved and they could care less (exaggerating slightly) what happens after closing. I am completely confident that we would still live comfortably if she lost her job the day after closing, because she would quickly find suitable employment and even if she didn't i could carry the mortgage by myself for a while. obviously the bank is not going to agree with me because underwriters aren't people anymore, they're computer programs with risk aversion as the #1 priority.

Now I know that just renting for a year or two sounds like a decent choice, but where we're moving it is not such a good option. Safety is #1 for me and we're paying probably $200-$500 a month over what our mortgage would be to accomplish this. Number 2 is my dog, who is not going into an apartment. I don't need to really explain that getting rid of my dog is a worst case scenario. Number 3 is this would set our plans back a couple years and maybe more because it would open me up to being moved again, which is a 2 year minimum proposition. We would also like to start a family soon and that would be delayed for years and begin pushing us towards becoming older parents, which with health and other circumstances is not desirable.

so i appologize if i mislead you with the promise of a short story at the beginning, but this whole situation is kind of stressing me and i'm trying not to worry my wife. It's just that basically if she loses her job, we don't get a house and at some point a mortgage company is going to call her work to verify her employment and i believe it is going to cause a conversation whether she likes it or not. She does not want to appear dishonest by not talking to her boss early on, but as I said her old boss was recently fired so she has no relationship with the new boss and therefore can't guess what response she will get.

My stance is she should not say anything unless approached by her boss because of a call checking her employment. 

So I'll just stop here and respond to any questions instead of continuing to ramble. Thank you in advance for your opinions and advice on this.

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I had a friend who bought a house and signed for it the day after his first paycheck form the company in the town he relocated to.  The real estate agent does not know what they are talking about and the broker does not care.  Find a new broker.  

As to moving but not renting.  What about downsizing for a year or two then up-sizing.  Small house with a yard close to a dog park. Look at micro housing That will let you buy a small house in the area, and make the move.

As to lousing her job, if they are firing anyone who asks for long leave, she needs to find another.

She should get a job back home via your contacts and make the move.  Down sizing is a good way to 

After she is employed a year or at least 6 months you can go for the child and she will have mandatory leave options so she can keep her job.  It is a big help.  

None of these suggestion delay what you want to do but you might have to find someone interested in the loan & possibly go small for 2-3 years before getting the house you want.  You can still start your family.

Thank you for your response. I have read about situations where as long as you have a paycheck then you're good to go, and hopefully steady employment over the past 5 years (job changes, but only maybe a few months of total time unemployed) would be enough.

Part of the reason for my concern is my friend at the brokerage tried to give his notice and was immediately fired. Luckily i got my preapproval, but it's a rough time out there.

Letting go someone who has put in their notice is a very frequent occurance and is different from what I think you are trying to explain.

i know, i just feel like employers have more power now with such a bad market. why pay you if they could bring in your replacement cheaper and not waste another dime on you? luckily my employer is the polar opposite, and hopefully her next one will be too.

Yep as a security precaution people are terminated when they give notice.  Some places feel this is better then to let someone work for another 2 weeks and possibly hurt the operations. 

I can't really follow with all the run-on sentences. But, does your wife's employer have more than 50 employees? It's against the law to fire people for taking medical leave.

Is there a human resources department that's not part of her chain of command? If so, she can ask them for advice, both about the transfer and about any repercussions when a bank in another state calls to verify employment. The bank with call HR, not her immediate supervisor, anyway. [And the bank might not call. They might accept up-to-date pay stubs as sufficient.]

Yes they have over 50 employees, but a guy that works there was going to have surgery on his leg and they told him if he took the time off for it they would fire him. I don't know all the circumstances so I won't comment on the legality of it because it's probably not illegal. 

I recommended HR to her as a first step, that way she can have something to fall back on and still possibly transfer, even if fired. Speaking to HR would show that she really wanted to make a transfer work to a possible new job within the same company, even if her boss want's to be vindictive.

Honestly this could all be for naught if the bank doesn't even bother to call or speaks to someone who does not send word down the grapevine about the employment verification, but murphy's law would have us believe otherwise.

There are all sorts of employer safeguards in terms of firing people who take medical leave. They only apply to larger employers; the employee has to be there for a certain amount of time; the employee needs to make good-faith efforts that the timing not be disruptive, etc. But what you're describing are huge red flags not just to lawyers and HR professionals, but to ordinary people who have vague understanding of the law.

Among HR's duties is to deal with situations like this. Since you 2 are very nervous and distrust the employer, you can take things slowly. She can start by asking for generic written policies that might deal with your issues. "I was clearing out my desk and realized I misplaced my employee handbook. Could I get a new one?" She may not have to talk to anyone. My favorite excuse right now are the tax changes. "I've been reading about these changes in the Tax Code and what they mean for take-home pay and employee benefits. I'm confused about what benefits are available." Sure, policies about transfers don't directly relate to taxes, but it provides from cover in case HR is lousy and the conversation gets back to her supervisors.

I don't know what notes HR has to keep or what HR will keep. It's possible that if she talks to HR about transfer procedures, no record will be kept until she's asking for a transfer.

Also, is the bank national, regional, or local? Remember it's a routine call for the person verifying employment. He's not going to want to (and may be legally prohibited from) go into a long explanation about where he is geographically, where the loan will be, how much it is, etc. Actually, have you signed something saying the bank is authorized to contact your employers? In California, it takes 2 court orders to release salary information without employee authorization.

i was going to have her create a new email account and contact Corporate HR asking questions without anything specific involved. I would just talk to the bank directly and ask that they not specify where the house we're looking at is located, but I am concerned that would raise a red flag with them. I might just ask them how they approach an employer and say that i prefer my financial matters to be private, so please do not go into detail about my pending home.


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