Buying a home could get harder - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Buying a home could get harder

Getting a mortgage may be harder than before. Federal regulators are suggesting future home buyers put 20 percent down to purchase a home; the average down payment in some areas is as low as 3.5 to 5 percent.

Realtors like Alison Moss with Comey & Shepard are worried increasing the down payment on a home will eliminate buyers in an already saturated markets of sellers.

"It's basically going to have a ripple effect, because you have people who basically aren't going to be able to buy a home until five to 10 years into the workforce," says Moss.

While Moss has plenty of clients with 20 percent down, she says they want to invest that money in their 401k and retirement plans.

"I don't really think that you can just place a standard number on it. What I think it needs to be, is there needs to be better counseling by loan officers," says Moss.

Tom Hasselback, president-elect of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors, says the board recognizes there needs to be a tightening of the belt from the lending industry and owning a home takes time and money.

"Everybody thought they were entitled to a home, but you still have to have that personal responsibility," he says.

Hasselback says it still too early to tell what will happen as federal regulators review the proposed changes, but he is concerned it will push people out of the market.

"The guidelines for underwriting were just too loose in '05, '06, '07 and now the pendulum has swung the other way," he explains. "Now, its swung too far."

There is no specific timeline for approving those guidelines, but Hasselback says even once a decision is made it will take a year to go into effect.

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