Along the Gulf of Mexico in Cape Coral, Fla., Mortgage broker Michael Pfaff got used to constant phone calls from local real estate agents begging for help to save business at risk of collapsing fault funding.
“The underwriters are terrified and they are dragging their feet, and making more excuses not to close the loans,” Pfaff said. “Basically, they just don’t want deals. “
Three years ago, when Cape Coral was among the nation’s top-rated real estate markets, Mr. Pfaff specialized in financing luxury homes with seven-figure price tags. “Now I’m making a $ 32,000 loan on a mobile home,” he said.
Funding is always there for people with great credit, he said. Mr. Pfaff recently made a deal for an Indiana couple who bought a second home in Cape Coral, a waterfront duplex for $ 300,000. Their credit score was almost impeccable and they had a 20% down payment, plus an income of almost $ 8,000 per month.
For people like that, conditions have actually improved since the government took over the mortgage giants. A month ago, Mr. Pfaff was able to get 30-year fixed rate mortgages for about 7%. On Thursday, he was citing 6 percent.
But those with less than ideal credit are increasingly excluded from the market, Pfaff said, and there are plenty of them. So-called hard money loans, for those with problematic credit but large down payments, were easy to organize as recently as last month.
“This money has just dried up,” Pfaff said. “I’m scared. I’m 54 and I’ve seen a lot of hyperventilation in my life, but I absolutely believe it’s a very serious problem.