Vacation-home loans can be hard to come by: WSJ

Just in case you didn’t know this already, you heard it here first: Potential buyers of vacation homes are finding it hard to get loans for a number of reasons.

That’s the conclusion of a Wall Street Journal story, “Getting a vacation-home loan: no day at the beach.”

What’s the deal? Several things, actually. Prices could fall further in those markets, if the housing economy hasn’t stabilized. Appraisal comps might be hard to come by and make lenders skittish about the report. HOAs in those areas could be in financial trouble.

In general, experts say, there’s a limited number of lenders willing to provide private jumbo mortgages—which start after $417,000 in most parts of the country and exceed $625,500 in pricier areas—on vacation homes. “You are down to a sub-sub-genre of the lending market at this point, so there will likely be fewer lenders and choices,” says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at mortgage-info website

So if you’ve got folks looking to buy a second home, best prepare them for the potential of having a bit more trouble getting a loan. The Journal’s advice?

Buyers in search of a vacation-home mortgage should consider contacting national banks as well as mortgage brokers, who have access to a large number of lenders.

But even then, prepare for a higher threshold of requirements. Depending on the lender, borrowers could have to make larger down payments than they would on a primary residence, ranging from 30% to 60%.

Click here to read the whole article, in its complete entirety.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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