Why you may have to put more down on a house

By Brittany Pieper – email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – Three years ago, mortgage advisor Mike Giddens says almost anyone could get a home loan with little to no money down.

"If they were breathing you could just about get them into a house," he said.

Today, things are a little different for home buyers. A study done by Zillow.com showed in several larger cities across the country, like Chicago and Las Vegas, the median down payment has risen to about 20% on conventional mortgages.

Giddens says it's not that high in the Ark-La-Tex. If you have good credit, it's still possible to get a conventional mortgage for 5% down. He estimates the average down payment is around 8%. If you have good credit, the home buying process hasn't changed much here in the last few years. However, if you don't have good credit, it's a much different story. Giddens says borrowers who do put down less than 20% have to have private mortgage insurance.

"The problem is getting the private mortgage insurance because right now if you have below a 680 (credit score), you can not get private mortgage insurance on a conventional loan," said Giddens.

Bad Credit can now keep people like Cody Voorhies from buying a home.

"Especially if you've got trucks repoed or not having a job very long.  The way the economy is, it makes it very difficult. Especially if you're a first time home buyer. You've got to have money saved up for that," said Voorhies.

However, it's not all bad. Giddens says he's seen buyers acting more responsible than ever.

"People wising up and paying off debt, not using credit cards as much as they used to. Preparing for the unexpected. Being fiscally and financially smart," he said.

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