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Mixed messages from lenders

The housing market is roaring back.

All over the place we see evidence of that – sold signs popping up everywhere and people actually seeing their home values rise for the first time in a long while. We've seen these examples in recent financial headlines both online and in print - banks ease lending guidelines, mortgages get easier to qualify for, the rush back to sub-prime. However, when walking into a bank or other lending institution to apply for a mortgage, there's a sinking feeling that the lenders aren't reading the same headlines. It seems like there are mixed messages on the current mortgage atmosphere. Is it really easier to get a mortgage today than it was this time last year? Let's take a look at some recent improvements in guidelines:

• With the housing market crash back in 2009, the days of no or little money down loans were coming to a screeching halt and eventually were totally discontinued. Recently however, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both brought back the 97 percent LTV or 3 percent down program. Once again, there's an option for low downpayment borrowers aside from FHA loans, which can carry some higher costs such as monthly and upfront mortgage insurance premiums READ MORE

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