Single buyers having a more difficult time obtaining financing NAR says, but zero down loans still exist!

With the meltdown over the last few years in the real estate market, lending, in case you haven’t heard, has been significantly more stringent and it’s hurting single buyers more while married buyers are having better luck qualifying as a whole.

Before 2010 market shares between single buyers, married buyers, men, women etc moved only 1-2 percent each year. This last year however the numbers have moved significantly into the favor of married couples, with 65% of all homes sales being married couples compared to just 58% a year ago and 20% last year were single this year it’s down to just 16%.

According to The National Association of Realtors Buyers and Sellers Profile, one of the many studies NAR does each year, married couples are the driving force of real estate sales this year in a less than forgiving lending climate. To me this isn’t much of a surprise as when you’re a married couple your combined income, credit reports, assets etc generally do look better to lenders then a single individual. What is surprising to me is that lending went from “ninja loans” (No Income, No Job, no Assets = “sure, we’ll give you a loan”) in 2006-2007 to, well, if I must be honest, where lending should never have strayed from in the first place; you need a good job, a good income and good credit score to get a loan.

So, why did it take almost five years for this change in market share? Recovery…that’s why. When the market was plummeting everyone was waiting for bottom, market shares remained the same for the most part shifting a little here and there, but as soon as we got into recovery mode the buying spree began once again, hence the change in market shares. While married couples with stable jobs/income remained in a better position to buy then single buyers over the last few years they were holding off, “waiting for bottom”, then an uptick started and appeared to be sustainable and they (and single buyers) jumped in; poof, a change in market share occurred because married couples, in this new stringent lending climate, were better qualified and thus have seen more success securing a loan.

Don’t however think that zero down financing is gone folks. While lending qualifications are indeed more strict these days you still can buy a home, today, with ZERO down payment or a very low down payment on an FHA loan. USDA loans are the zero down ones and you find them in rural areas. Whats a rural area you may ask? How about Sandy Oregon? Damascus? Boring? Estacada? Those are all rural areas in the USDA program (within 20 minutes of Portland mind you) that qualify for USDA zero down loan programs and you can still have the seller cover the closing costs making these programs truly, zero down, nothing out of pocket to get into a new home.

Not interested in those areas? Well, you still can buy a $300,000 home with as little as $12,000 or so down on FHA programs with sellers assisting in closing costs (though, they cannot cover all any longer).

Want to know more? Give me a call.

~Scott McDonald

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