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With interest rates so low, some people are considering buying a house. According to Bankrate, the national average for a 30 year fixed mortgage is 4.31%. Should you buy a house? How do you know if you're ready? What resources are available to those with limited incomes?

Mortgage Guides

Today I'm reviewing Refinance Mortgage Rates and their free mortgage guides.There are numerous guides offered, but I just want to highlight one in particular – Low Income Mortgage, Affordable Housing. I thought this was interesting because there seems ot be two extreme views that keep getting perpetuated-

  • either owning a home is impossible or
  • everyone should own a house

I believe that everyone has to right to own property as long as they have the financial resources for it. The mortgage crisis showed, among other glaring problems, that not everyone can afford to buy and/or maintain a house.

Low Income Mortgage, Affordable Housing Overview

The topics covered include:

  • Understand what makes a home affordable.
  • Be familiar with the various programs available to people seeking affordable housing.
  • Programs and options available to the homeless.
  • Knowledge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Organizations that cater to low income / homeless demographic.
  • Relevant resources for low income earners.

Right off the bat, the guide explains that sometimes affordable housing means renting an apartment versus buying a home. I agree with the thought – you have to look at your own family's financial circumstances before you decide to start the process of buying property.

Lenders are more stringent on buyers' income than they were in the past. One way lenders check is by combing through your household income. They request documentation such as W-2s, pay stubs, bank statements and previous tax returns.

I was impressed that the guide also listed resources and programs for housing (rentals included) for those with low incomes and even the homeless.

Final Thoughts

The guide seemed quite helpful for those considering whether or not  to own a house. The resources listed is a great starting point. I'm curious – how did you prepare your first home?

Note: Please read my guidelines about financial reviews.

Photo Credit: Steve-h

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

3 comments add your comment

  1. I researched what happens when someone short sells a house but wants to purchase another one. (I personally know someone going through a short sale right now and are hoping to buy another house soon after.) Everything I read was that because of tighter lending practices, a potential buyer HAS to have their 20% down and a good to excellent credit score. There just doesn’t seem to be any way around that, and only in this circumstance can a person afford a house. In my case, I’m still saving for my 20%, so I’m not ready to purchase a house yet. ;)