In today’s Washington Post Kenneth Harney wrote:
Loan terms and credit underwriting standards have been toughened up, but you can still put down 3 percent (3.5 percent after Jan. 1) on an FHA-insured mortgage and 5 percent on certain Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan programs with private mortgage insurance. The FHA’s credit standards are generous and forgiving — the agency exists to help people with less-than-spotless credit histories.
Despite the general gloom in the financial markets, money for mortgages is still readily available. And buyers, taking advantage of historically low rates and low prices are getting back into the market. Again according to Kenneth Harney:
Home prices — pushed by foreclosures and short sales — have rolled back to 2003 and 2004 levels or lower in many of the former boom markets. As a result, growing numbers of buyers are coming off the sidelines, making offers and writing contracts. The pending home sales index jumped by 7.4 percent based on purchase contracts signed in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. The heaviest increases — pointing to higher closed sales in the coming two to three months — were in California, Florida, Nevada and the Washington metropolitan area.