Real Estate BusinessForeclosures across the country saw a steady decline in the past few months, according to CoreLogic’s December 2014 National Foreclosure Report. It is said there were 39,000 completed foreclosures in December of last year, down from 46,000 in the same month 2013.

Utah reports the highest rate of decrease in foreclosure with 48.8 percent. Reports suggest that the number of distressed residential properties has fallen considerably, which only means many Americans can now afford their house and pay their mortgage continuously. The high decline in foreclosure is also a good sign that the US housing market is healing.

Relaxed Rules in Mortgage

Other than the steady decline in foreclosures, it is also now easier to get a home loan. There are now fewer obstacles to getting a mortgage. Those with stronger qualifications like good credit, however, are more likely to lock in a lower interest rate. Those with high credit scores and a down payment with at least 25 percent are sure to get the best rates.

Shopping for the Best Rate

For buyers who can’t reach those high benchmarks, suggests shopping and comparing loans. This is one of the best ways to secure a better loan that can help avoid foreclosure. It is best to get reports from at least three providers to choose the best loan program.

The Down Payment Challenge

Accumulating down payment is still the biggest challenge for homeowners. Many homebuyers believe that they need to put down at least 20 percent, but this is just a misconception. Sometimes, 5 percent for a fixed-rate mortgage or 10 percent for an adjustable-rate loan is enough. Conforming jumbo loans also need least 10 percent, but have slightly higher credit-score requirements.

Buying a home is still one of the biggest purchases for most people. It requires planning and careful consideration of finances for a successful buying process. The decrease in foreclosures and low mortgage rates can serve as an encouragement for many buyers. It is still important, however, to build a strong credit score and look for the best mortgage deal possible.