Getting an Affordable Mortgage Loan in Your Area

Freddie Mac recently released its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), and the news was good for prospective homebuyers. According to the federally-backed mortgage giant, 30-year fixed rates floundered around 3.62 percent, while 15-year rates averaged just 2.89 percent. This time last year, 30-year rates were as high as 4.60 percent, while 15-year rates were up to 3.75 percent.

Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac, blamed contraction in the manufacturing industry and less consumer spending for the decreased rates; however, rates have been near record lows for months, thanks to a variety of reasons.

What it means for buyers

Low mortgage rates are good news for buyers who are looking for affordable home loans. Right now, buying conditions are especially favorable, thanks to low home values throughout much of the country. If you are in a good position to buy, you could secure a very nice home you might normally be unable to afford.

Rates not low everywhere

Although Freddie Mac reports that rates are low across most of the United States, this doesn't mean they will be low in all parts of the country. The PMMS is only an average based on select good faith estimates from a handful of lenders. If you live in a place enjoying good economic stability and strong home sales, your rates could be higher. This will also be true if you live in a city suffering through a foreclosure crisis, because lenders associate borrowers in these areas with greater risk.

Getting approved

Before the foreclosure crisis, banks were far more lenient when they sized up potential borrowers. Nowadays, things have changed drastically. To attain a loan, prospective borrowers must be able to prove they can afford the property. This typically means they will need to provide a downpayment equaling at least 20 percent of the loan amount. Currently, banks are also demanding that borrowers have very good credit and good job stability.

Things to consider

Unfortunately, the real estate market continues to struggle, thanks in part to tough lending standards. Many potential buyers are having trouble getting approved for a loan, while others simply cannot raise the money for a large down payment. If you've been declined by private lenders or you just don't feel you will be able to meet their strict demands, there are other options. First time buyers programs are available to people who have relatively poor credit and low to moderate incomes, so it pays to talk to an expert before you give up hope.

First time buyer programs are offered by city, county and state administrators. To find homebuying assistance programs in your area, view this list provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Article Source: Zane_Rosenbloom

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