Downtown Condos Try To Break Into Housing Market - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Downtown Condos Try To Break Into Housing Market

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Apartment living is taking off in the Quad Cities with new projects almost constantly popping up downtown.     

Now condos are breaking into the market, but they don't seem to be moving as fast as apartments. 

When it comes to renting or buying condos downtown, renting tends to win out. 

"People may have had money saved to say buy a condo, during the recession, they had to spend that money, or their credit got a little bump on the recession, now all of those people, it's flooded the market with people needing to rent as they're recovering from the last few years," Realtor Connie Coster says. 

Coster has condos on the market at the McKesson Lofts in Rock Island, she says in the nine years since the building's been open, about six original units are still sitting empty. 

"The demand is coming up right now, the last two years there was not a huge demand," Coster says. 

She says this is partly because of the building's income restrictions, but also potential buyers may be having trouble finding the funds to buy. 

"When the recession hit, market crisis hit, that turned around and brought rules with them, the banks tightened up," Coster says. 

Lenders say, even with tighter restrictions on loans, there are other ways to get the funding you need. 

"Originally government backed financing tightened up considerably on credit, all the way to the point where they just weren't comfortable doing mortgages period on condos," DHCU Community Credit Union President and COO Matt McCombs says, "A lot of times you just have to make sure you're open to other forms of lending so a lot of time you aren't going to have as many opportunities for a straight 30 year loan, you may have to look at a 5 year balloon." 

There are federal programs and grants to help along the way too.  

"Home buyer assistance program, first time home buyer program, renovation program, if you meet those income guidelines, you can get up to a $30,000 grant on these condos, on the homes out there," Coster says. 

They say it's all a matter of figuring it out.  

"If you get that credit checked, get a little money saved, we'll get these people out of the rental market and back into these condos," Coster says.

Home financing experts say if you're in the market to buy, contact a realtor, broker, or lender for more information on what programs and assistance are available to you.