Pat Lairson


For just about the last decade we have had historical low mortgage rates. It has been a great investment to borrow money at such low interest rates and because of this many people have been able to purchase a home. A low mortgage rate helps a buyer to have low mortgage payments. The lending guidelines though have gotten stricter over the last decade which in my opinion has not been a bad thing at all. It is still fairly easy and affordable to get a home loan.

I spoke to Kurt McClearen of Nova Home Loans about the housing market pertaining to lending. Kurt is a very reputable lender and has been in the real estate industry for over seven years. Getting prequalified is always the first step in your home buying process. Usually your Realtor can connect you to a great lender with competitive rates.

I asked Kurt his opinion of where he thought rates would be headed for the remainder of 2019 and 2020. No one can predict this with certainty but Kurt gave an educated reply.

“Based on what we have seen the market do so far this year, and Fed monetary predictions, we should see rates remaining nice and steady or even slightly declining in Q3 and Q4.”

Kurt went on to say we all know the market is cyclical, values go up and go down. With rates this low though, now is the time to save over the long term. I asked Kurt to speak on what an “average” interest rate would look like for a buyer, but there are so many variables so it is difficult to answer that question in this article.

So what are the qualifications you need in order to get a loan? What if you don’t have good credit?

Qualifications vary greatly depending on loan type and investor. The lowest acceptable score for some VA/FHA investors is a 550 FICO score but there may be some special requirements that comes with this type of loan too. Kurt explained to stay safe FHA loans with a FICO of 640 plus are less scrutinized by the underwriting process. With a conventional loan, a FICO of 620 plus is needed but pricing really improves with a FICO credit score over 680. Kurt emphasized that with industry guidelines/investor guidelines, things can change fairly regularly so these numbers are just general rules of thumb.

I asked Kurt what kind of “deals” are there right now in the lending industry? His reply was that almost every loan is a deal right now. With 30-year rates hovering around 4% and down payments as low as 3% it is an overall great time to buy a home. For more questions, Kurt can be reached at 832-776-0898.

There are 308 available single family homes actively for sale today on the MLS in an HOA subdivision. The lowest priced home for sale is $175,000. There are 19 rental homes available and the lowest priced rental is $1,200 per month. It makes sense to look into buying a home if you are currently a renter. Maricopa is still one of the most affordable cities to buy a home anywhere across the Valley.


Pat Lairson is a Realtor with The Maricopa Real Estate Company. Contact her at 520-280-5862 or