Mortgage Problems

By: Shane Symolon Email
By: Shane Symolon Email

It's harder to get a mortgage in many areas of the country, but some local lending experts say the Valley is insulated from some of the current national real estate problems.

Lending experts say part of the reason for the cuts in interest rates is because the economy has been hurt by problems in housing loans. Those problems have made it harder to get a mortgage across the country.

Some local experts say the Valley is at least partly protected from those problems. Richard Halterman with Allied Home Mortgage says, that a year ago, getting a loan to buy a home was a lot easier.

"The people that have less than perfect credit were able to go out and get a loan. One hundred percent finance it," says Halterman.

Once the housing market started going downhill, that loan strategy was no longer good and many of the loans went into default, which made it harder for people who don't have good credit to get loans.

"It causes underwriters in general to look at everything they do. That they're not going to be in a situation where someone is not adequately secured has adequate collateral, has collateral income to make their mortgage payment," says Halterman.

He's seen the number of foreclosures increase from one a week to two or three a day, but he says the Valley is in better shape than most places.

"Around here we tend to be more conservative. We tend to go with some down payment. That cures a lot of ills if your putting five percent, ten percent down," says Halterman.

So if you are thinking of buying a home, Halterman says the first thing to do is get your credit score fixed.

"Credit is the "Big C." It's the big one and it's like your report card. It's how your evaluated," says Halterman.

What happens next with mortgage rates is a matter of opinion. Some experts say the lowered interest rate announced Tuesday could lower mortgage rates, but Halterman says the complex system could really go either way.


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