If you want to buy a home and you qualify for a mortgage, this is your time. With mortgage rates at historically low levels, falling home prices and plenty of distressed properties for sale, buyers will be able to find once-in-a-lifetime opportunities this fall.
Borrowers seeking to refinance will likely continue to take advantage of the superlow rates -- if they qualify and have enough equity in their homes.
Stringent underwriting standards coupled with lower loan limits, which went into effect at the beginning of October, will keep many potential buyers and refinancers out of the market and will put more downward pressure on home values.
Also pressing on values is the vast inventory of foreclosed homes for sale. Some fear another wave of distressed properties will hit the market in coming months as banks resume foreclosures at full speed. But others say lenders, who are under extreme pressure from the government, will look for alternative solutions such as short sales and working with investors on rental and lease-to-own programs.
Here are some of the housing and mortgage trends you can expect to see for fall 2011.