Finance restrictions keep some out of home market -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Finance restrictions keep some out of home market

It's getting tougher to qualify for a mortgage.  Critics say too tough.

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson says proposed restrictions to prevent another housing market collapse go too far and will hurt the housing industry and the entire economy.

Proposed restrictions could require someone wanting to buy this home to put 20 percent down or face higher interest rates. Mortgage brokers say it's scaring some potential buyers away.

Lydia Lee feels like she's won the housing lottery after closing yesterday on a dream home complete with spiral staircase and bonus loft for her family.

"Rent is so high that, that is what pushed me to decide to look at buying a home instead," said Lee.

She almost didn't try to get into the market, nervous she wouldn't qualify.

"I have rented pretty much my whole life and with then with the housing market the way it is.  I wasn't sure what to expect as far as the process I would have to go through, because it's different now," said Lee.

Senator Johnny Isakson's worried about the same thing. He believes restrictions were needed to keep homeowners from getting upside down in their mortgages, but worries some go too far. At Northside Mortgage they say there are still helpful programs to get people into the market.

"USDA offers a great 100 percent program of course it's form most of the rural areas, most of Dougherty County doesn't qualify, but most of Lee, Terrell, Worth everything that surrounds us qualifies for that, there are 97 percent programs, there are 95 percent programs," said Northside Mortgage Owner Stacey Walker.

Right now, a proposal to split home loans into two categories is under public comment. For home owners who don't put down 20 percent, they would be required to get mortgage insurance so they shoulder part of the risk. The intent is to ensure lenders vet borrowers, but mortgage brokers say that's already happening.

"They've gotten really strict on credit scores, I think that's are area where they need to do on a case by case scenario, but until they make some changes that's the way it is and it does cut a lot of people out," said Walker.

For Lee, buying was a positive experience.

"The market, right now was so good and Stacey at Northside Mortgage was so good, and Continental Realty, Mr. Frank and Mr. Sonny were great, the whole process went so great," said Lee.

In just a month and a half, Lee's moving in. While others may not be as lucky, it's saving her in the long run on rent and allowing her to build equity in her future.

Realtors we talked to say you need to see a mortgage broker first to see what you may qualify for. Public comment on the down payment rule has been extended through August first.


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