First-time home buyers with good credit, say in Las Vegas, are jumping in delight over the vast selection of low-priced residences they can now put offers on. And do even more than that, they can also bargain for seller help in covering mortgage costs and other related stuff. Home loan foreclosures and the glut of inventory have brought down values to levels not seen in years and that has created terrific opportunities.
There is, however, a large segment in the huge housing market that is left holding the short end of the stick on this. That is the homeowner who has to relocate for a variety of reasons or just desires to purchase another house in town to better meet his current family and other needs.
Let's keep using Las Vegas as an example here. The first task is to sell the existing home. To successfully market a property today requires careful study on how to price the listing because what it was worth a month ago may not be true today. It probably is a bit lower now. Those who purchased a home in the last few years are likely to be upside down and effectively can't sell at all, unless they bring a stack of money onto the closing table. Who wants to do that? Or has the means to do it. These homeowners really can't do much.
The ones who have managed to hang on to some equity have a chance. The challenge they face is getting a new mortgage. Guidelines are much stricter now than when they were approved years ago. Many programs that were once helpful have disappeared and down payment requirements are much higher. With a so-so credit score mortgage applicants can expect conditions that are often impossible to overcome. Even those with stellar credit who can't or won't document all their income can be denied. The volatile financial environment of late has driven lenders pretty much to the opposite extreme from the easy-go approach some years ago.
To summarize, the seller who can afford to wait will do so. The others hopefully will find a reasonable solution to the dilemma.