Margaret McNeal, a housing counselor for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, a national financial counseling organization based in Atlanta, says many homebuyers didn’t understand their mortgages, which became a major contributor to the housing crisis. “Primarily, people weren’t educated,” she says.
While the economy has largely returned to pre-recession levels, and the real estate market has recovered, many consumers are still a little gun-shy to close on a home.
John Sulzbach, a financial and housing counselor for LSS Financial Counseling in Minneapolis, likens lending to a pendulum, swinging back and forth over time, reacting to market events and borrowers. “It went from greed in 2007 to fear in 2008, ’09 and ’10. Now I see that pendulum is coming back to a more neutral position,” Sulzbach says, adding that lenders are doing their due diligence when considering a loan and want borrowers to do the same.
Buying a home shouldn’t be scary. The key is understanding your financial situation and what you are able to afford, as well as the kind of lending you sign on for. Following the steps below will not only make buying a home possible, but a positive financial move.
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