Survey Says: Access to Affordable Mortgages is Serious Problem

Two out of three Americans, or 71 percent, believe access to affordable mortgages is a serious problem, says a recent MortgageMatch.com survey.

According to the survey, 32 percent of respondents said the most challenging aspects of getting a mortgage are understanding the mortgage process and coping with lenders’ requirements; those concerns rank higher than getting the mortgage itself (23 percent) and negotiating the sale price of a home (25 percent).

In terms of expectations of American homebuyers, nearly 80 percent of recent homebuyers said that getting a mortgage was more difficult than they had expected and one in ten said they received an interest rate higher than what they were quoted originally. The process itself has led to ongoing concerns and confusion among borrowers, sometimes stemming from changes in documentation requirements from lenders and the use of industry jargon.

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“Over the past few years, a lot of buyers have had a hard time not only getting a loan but getting through the process,” said Sue Stewart, senior vice president at Move, Inc., which operates MortgageMatch.com. “This survey is a wakeup call and clearly points to the fact that borrowers want a process that’s easy to understand and follow. They don’t want surprises and they want to be able to depend on their mortgage lender. For most people, the home buying process isn’t about the mortgage–it’s about getting a home.”

While respondents were widely disappointed with the process, 68 percent of those who successfully took out mortgages reported down payments of less than 20 percent.

Survey results were based on 2,000 phone interviews conducted in January 2011.

See a full description of the survey here.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker