Great time to buy a house? Not for everyone

  • Article by: JIM BUCHTA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 16, 2012 - 9:12 PM

Yes, interest rates are at rock bottom, but higher down payments and credit requirements are hurdles for many home buyers.

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george13Jun. 16, 12 9:06 AM

"they also require proof of income and higher credit scores from borrowers"........I would hope so. If lenders had behaved responsibly for the last 10 years we wouldn't we in this mess.

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smarterthanuJun. 16, 1210:09 AM

It is never a good time to buy a house if you do not have the means to do so. There is no inherent right to purchase a house.

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stiffrickJun. 16, 12 4:04 PM

This story really misses the boat given what I'm hearing. From my friend's ongoing drama trying to buy a house in Minneapolis, it seems like it is a terrible time to buy a home unless you are an investor. It doesn't matter how good a person's credit score is. My friend's got an 800 credit score, decent paying job, and the 30 percent down payment but has been trounced on every attempt to get into a home by investors because full cash offers are king. The reporter should really look into that phenomena of investors standing around the block to look at homes just to flip or turn into rentals thus bringing down Minneapolis as a whole. From my friend's stories and from my other friends in the market for a house, there is NO CHANCE for a regular person to get into a place in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis market seems to be in a bubble frenzy again thanks to the low interest rates. Prices being driven up by investors throwing wads of cash around. And if it isn't the investors, it's some crooked non-profit or neighborhood organization pulling the place from the market so it can be divied up to their buddies. Personally, I'd rather see homes in Minneapolis be sold to people who will live in them and care about them. And that is the most problematic aspect of profit-driven people getting into buying and selling homes, it comes at the cost of people who actually have to live in the neighborhood.

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redoubtJun. 16, 12 9:34 PM

While it's true that it's not as easy to buy a home as it was (thankfully) a few years ago, it's NOWHERE NEAR as difficult as many people assume. Low credit scores regularly get approved. 3% down payments are still possible. Even for those with lower credit scores - that get hit for risk - interest rates are still most likely below 4%. it's a PHENOMENAL time to buy for anyone that can afford to do so. I'm not saying you should stretch and buy even if you can't afford it. But if you can afford it, don't wait. NOW is the time. A year or two from now, monthly payments on the same $200,000 house are very likely to be hundreds of dollars higher simply due to the interest rate difference.

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davezifferJun. 16, 12 9:47 PM

Sorry, but I don't believe housing prices are stabilizing.

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rubybird74Jun. 16, 12 9:47 PM

People who have not saved toward a down payment have no business buying a house.

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tmancerJun. 16, 1210:39 PM

Want to pay zero down on a house? Join the military. VA loans are a 3.75% right now for reasonably-good credit scores with no money down.

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comment229Jun. 17, 12 4:43 AM

I agree. Simply encouraging responsible buying of homes would help get our economy going again, from top to bottom. Why hasn't legislation been introduced to do this in the US House of Representatives? I think we all know the answer to that one. I think of the money that we wasted in two wars, that could have been used as rebate money or incentive money for first time buyers who are qualified in the housing market, with a very generous rebate as the incentive, and just shake my head in disgust. This legislation could have, should have, and would have created a whole new demand for housing in this country but never was even proposed in the House. Why not? I thought this was all about "jobs, jobs, jobs?" Apparently, it isn't.

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cedarriverJun. 17, 12 7:02 AM

Its too bad people that played by the rules and didnt over extend themselves, are now being punished by having to compete with forclosures and short sales that have flooded the market, to take advantage of the low rates many people have to sell their old home first, not an easy task in todays market, they want you to practically give it away..Its not only about first time buyers.

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jcinmnJun. 17, 12 7:45 AM

rubybird74 - "People who have not saved toward a down payment have no business buying a house." Banks are paying 1% per year on savings accounts and charging 3-4% on mortgages, even more on car loans? If people try to save for a down payment, at these rates they'll never raise enough scratch to make a down payment. Banks could at least pay more for the money they hoard, er make available for loan payments. There is no save vehicle that exists today for people to do what you demand.

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