There was an article in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal (April 26-27, 2008) that caught my attention. It talked about how difficult it is for first-time home buyers to qualify for loans, citing higher credit score requirements and additional costs such as private-mortgage insurance for those who don’t have large down payments. The article had the usual “doom and gloom” tone to it that so many real estate-related articles have these days.
But as I read it, I remembered that similar requirements were in place when I bought my first home many years ago – dare I say how many? (Hint: It was in the 1970s.) Precautionary measures and stricter requirments were the norm, and with good reason. The mortgage mess that the country is in right now is a result of many ignoring the sound reasoning behind those guidelines.
That said, I don’t believe that homeowership is becoming a “nightmare” for “many first-time home buyers,” as the WSJ writer states. First of all, there are more loans options available to first-time than the article depicts. Secondly, I meet first-time buyers who have proven that they are responsible borrowers with excellent credit scores. They are prepared to prove that they can handle the debt and believe that the sacrifices they will be making today will pay off down the road. When it comes to home ownership, I think that we’ve just come back to the basics, and there is no confusion as to why.
If you are a first time home buyer, you may find our article, “Can I Afford to Buy a Home?” helpful. You can check it out: http://homescentralcoast.com/first-time-home-buyer.html.