Stringent guidelines for underwriting, coupled with cash and credit requirements, slowed home sales because loans were difficult to arrange three years ago. "Since the housing crisis began, many prospective buyers have been "locked out" of home ownership because of required down payments of 20 percent and higher," said owner Chris Arco. —
Some of those requirements have been relaxed in the last couple of years, and because mortgage interest rates still hover near record lows, buyers now have a better chance to qualify for loans.
Arco added that, "acceptable credit is necessary, and pre-qualifying eases the task of looking for a home." He also advises prospective buyers to act before market conditions change again.
Statistics show that real estate prices in all areas of the county have trended higher over the last 12 months, indicating that recovery will continue. Local prices in popular communities are still reasonable and there are good deals available in many Southern Orange County communities, including Irvine, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach. Zillow records show a 20 percent price increase through October 2013 over the previous year, and approximately a three-month supply of properties for sale.
Industry analysts nationwide cautiously predict a healthier housing market in 2014, with higher prices, increased sales and more stable conditions. Many also predict rising interest rates. From all indications, now is a good time to buy, according to the experts.
Financing options now include conventional mortgages with down payments as low as half a percent to three percent, FHA insured loans with .05 - 3.5 percent down, and VA loans for veterans with no down payment required. Newly available are loans that allow the entire down payment amount to be gifted by a family member or other person, but in that case a higher credit score is usually required.
Renters and first-time buyers are urged to speak with a 1st Nationwide Mortgage representative to discuss available mortgage products best suited for them.
Release ID: 26947