A New Lending Landscape

The following article is an excerpt from my monthly e newsletter, Life @ Home, which I send to clients, friends, and networking acquaintances. The newsletter is just one page long and contains helpful information on buying, selling and owning a home, as well as some other short helpful tips. If you would like to subscribe to this newsletter, just drop me an email and I will add you to the distribution list.

It may seem like a tough time to be in the market for a home. In the wake of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the related banking upheaval, lenders have tightened their purse strings and put the brakes on issuing homes loans, at least at the rates and terms that were prevalent just a year to six months ago. But not all the news is bad for today’s buyers.

First, this new approach to lending can reduce the risk that you be a victim of unscrupulous lending practices. As a result, this more stringent approach may work to your benefit.

Use this time to learn as much as you can about the current lending landscape. Read articles in the newspapers and online. Reach out to your Realtor and ask for his or her interpretation of the recent developments. It is also wise to spend time analyzing your own finances including your income, assets, expenses and credit score. If you know your own budget and financial qualifications inside and out, you will know what is realistic and what is too good to be true.

Once you have identified what you want and are prepared with your own facts and figures start making some calls. Banks and mortgage companies may have reined in their lending, but it is still a free and competitive marketplace. Search for the best rates and terms available. However, if you feel you may get a better offer in a few weeks or months, and your timetable permits it, wait a bit. The advice of your real estate professional will be invaluable when making this decision.

Finally, remember that the real estate marketplace still favors buyers. The inventory of homes exceeds the current demand in most locations, so you have the opportunity to be more selective and a little more demanding at the bargaining table.



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