IRVINE, CA—Nearly half (49%, to be exact) of today's potentialhomebuyers say they are not pursuing thefinancing they need to buy a home out of fear thatthey won't qualify for a mortgage, according to anational consumer survey from loanDepot, aprivate, independent retail home-loan lender. The firm reports thatwhile strong pent-up demand to buy a home exists among a broadnational cross-section of the population, very few prospectivebuyers have actually taken any steps to see if they'll qualify fora home loan.

Ironically, for many buyers, this fear is unfounded. Accordingto Dave Norris, president and COO of loanDepot,“While market and regulatory conditions have made it harder formany borrowers to secure a loan, consumer lending is beginning toloosen up for mortgage borrowers, including those withless-than-perfect credit. Potential buyers are forfeiting theirdrams of homeownership before they find out what financing optionsare available to them. It's never been easier than it is today togo online and research your options. They may be better than mostpeople think.”

Despite the strength of the apartment market, the desire to owna home in this country is still quite strong. The firm reports thatone in three Americans say they'd like to buy a home in the nexttwo years, and 42% of all Americans don't own a home today. One infive who already own a home say they'd like to buy another home inthe next 24 months—either a new primary residence, investment home,retirement home or vacation home. In February, second homesaccounted for 20% of all home sales.

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on GlobeSt.com and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.