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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Home Ownership, Still The American Dream

By Linda Coombs

Bad decisions, overspending, and extending credit lines is catching up with people and industry simultaneously. The financial industry is suffering the same fate as many Americans. The home mortgage industry has not been immune.

However with crisis often comes opportunity. There is a glut of homes on the market in every community in this country. Predicting a bottom to this market is pointless, but be sure the bottom will come.

Contrary to popular opinion the American dream of owning a home is alive and well. Mortgage lenders are adjusting by the day the way resources are distributed. Loan guidelines will change, rules may be different, but obtaining a mortgage will still prove to be a primary consideration for most people.

So assuming you are ready to pursue securing a home mortgage, what is the first step? As much as it is possible during these times, protect your credit rating. The approval of your mortgage application has and always will be anchored on two important factors, your ability to repay the loan and your willingness to do so. Period

Everything else that is attached to the mortgage loan process is essentially filler. Begin a proactive campaign at either protecting your credit or restoring your rating. The sooner you get started the better.

Begin to compare rate quotes and mortgage availability. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will serve multiple purposes. You will then begin to shop for homes you can afford and not make emotional decisions about something that in the end you cannot afford. That is how we got in the position we are now.

If you do have pristine credit, remember you are in a position of leverage. Lenders will be begging for your business. Shopping for a mortgage requires the same due diligence required for any major purchase.

The truth is even if your credit is lees than perfect, lenders will still be happy to service your needs. Mortgage lenders make money, by essentially selling money. Although their customer base may have been downsized, if they dont loan money , they dont make money.

The mortgage crisis will indeed present opportunity. Pre-planning and a positive attitude will ensure your success in completing your American dream.

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