The nationwide credit crisis may have turned “the American dream” into an extended nightmare for many North Carolina home buyers and sellers.
Banks and mortgage lenders (who are not going out of business) have tightened up their lending requirements to the point where many home buyers today can no longer qualify for a mortgage. Record foreclosures, rising unemployment, losses in the financial markets and the current credit crunch have not only reduced the number of buyers who can buy but have also increased the number of houses that sellers need to sell. Prices are under pressure as home sellers lower their asking price to attract a buyer, and as lenders resell their foreclosed homes below market value.
And it’s turning into a vicious cycle — as many buyers need to sell their current home first — and many sellers (unless they plan to rent) need new financing to get into their next home. As a result, a sea of real estate agents, mortgage brokers and home builders are going out of business. These professionals are in the business of serving buyers and sellers. But that’s hard to do with the credit crisis when the entire real estate industry traditionally relies on mortgage lending to finance buyers and get houses sold.
What can homeowners do to sell their homes? How can buyers get financing if they can’t meet the tougher lending criteria on credit scores, income verification, down payment amounts and debt ratios?
There’s one local real estate professional who has found a way to make things work even with the present banking crisis. Steve Gaston is the president of Covenant Property Solutions, LLC . Since 1989, his private investment company has been buying houses throughout the Greater Charlotte area without ever relying on banks.