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Busting homeownership myths

Shannon Kyle
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
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How lenders assess mortgage applications has changed a lot in the last 20 years. What closed the door to homeownership then may not be a factor today.

The following are some common homeownership myths.

Myth: You need great credit to become a homeowner.



Fact: You may still be able to buy a home if you have less-than-perfect credit. And remember, you can improve your credit over time. But if you are buying a home and you have less-than-perfect credit, talk to a housing counselor who can help you avoid a mortgage you can’t afford. It is important to comparison shop. Be wary of a lender who tells you, “Your less-than-perfect credit means that no one but me will work with you to find you a loan.”

Myth: You need to put 20 percent down to buy a home.



Fact: There are many types of mortgage products and programs that allow low and no down payments. But remember that your interest rate may be higher for a low or no down payment loan. Also, be sure to factor in other costs such as closing costs, property taxes, moving expenses and repairs.

Myth: You can’t buy a home in the U.S. if you’re not a citizen.

Fact: If you’re a permanent or nonpermanent resident alien, you can purchase a home in the U.S.

Myth: If you don’t have a bank account or credit cards, you can’t qualify for a mortgage.

Fact: Having a bank account is always a good idea and helps you establish credit. However, lenders can approve you for a mortgage even if you don’t have a bank account or credit cards. You’ll likely need to keep records showing a history of payments you’ve made for items such as rent, utilities and car payments.

Myth: Lenders share your personal financial information with other companies.

Fact: By law, banks and other financial institutions are restricted in their uses and disclosures of information about you. In some situations, you may choose to restrict the disclosure of your information if you don’t want it to be shared. If you are unsure how your information will be used, don’t be afraid to ask ” it’s your right to know.

Myth: If you’re late on your monthly mortgage payments, you’ll lose your house.

Fact: If you have a financial hardship, like the death of your spouse or a medical emergency, and fall behind, it’s possible to keep your home and get back on track if you contact your lender early. Even if it is not possible to keep your home, you can sell your home and possibly buy a less expensive one rather than face foreclosure.

Myth: You can’t get a mortgage if you’ve changed jobs several times in the last few years.

Fact: Not true. You can change jobs several times and still get a loan to buy a home. Lenders understand that people change jobs. The important thing is to show that you’ve had a stable income.

Remember, interest rates are at an all-time low, and there has never been more inventory on the market. Its a great time to buy! Call your local Realtor to get started.

Shannon Kyle is with the Glenwood Springs Association of Realtors Public Relations Committee.


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