Editor's note: The following is a collection of real estate professionals' views on an industry-related topic. QUESTION: What has the credit crisis meant for buyers and sellers in your market area? Tom Avent Broker-associate Guarantee Real Estate Fresno, Calif.This credit crisis has definitely slowed down the buyer activity. During the boom years of 2002-06, when the mentality was that "real estate always goes up in value," 100 percent financing was common, and buyers were told by many lenders that they could always refinance out of their ARM or their exotic loan terms later. Now, most of those loans from the boom years appear to be ending up in foreclosure, values have decreased, and the owners are finding it difficult or impossible to refinance. In 2007, lenders started tightening the guidelines and now buyers must qualify the "old-fashioned" way, with good credit and verifiable income and a down payment. The downturn in values has, however, ...
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