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Region not known for its big-home spenders

Jumbo mortgages are the exception, not the rule, in Fort Wayne, officials say.

But regardless, ever since the housing crisis, lenders have been more rigorous about inspecting a prospective buyer’s fiscal house.

Clint Morgan, senior vice president of Ruoff Home Mortgage, 1110 E. Dupont Road, said that provokes some frustration among veteran homebuyers.

“It comes out when they’re asked to provide documentation,” Morgan said. “The scrutiny has gone up. It’s very intrusive right now, and things that might have been glossed over in the past are dived into now.”

That’s OK for first-time buyers, but a person who’s not new to the housing market – and who has a bank account worthy of a jumbo mortgage – feels the credit standing should be enough, Morgan said.

Jumbo mortgages are those above $417,000.

“A person might say, ‘Hey, I’ve owned five houses before. You don’t need to see all of my bank statements,’ ” Morgan said.

First-time homebuyers, on the other hand, are happy to supply anything that is requested.

“They’ve never been through it before, so it’s new to them,” Morgan said.

J. Kyle Ness is president of the Upstate Alliance of Realtors. The group said earlier that for the second consecutive year, existing-home sales in the Fort Wayne area rose more than 10 percent.

Upstate, which tracks data from Allen, Adams, DeKalb, Huntington, Noble, Wells and Whitley counties, said 7,313 homes sold last year, up from 6,634 in 2012.

And while the average selling price increased to $126,782 in 2013 from $126,424 a year earlier, those aren’t exactly jumbo mortgage numbers.

“I’ve never had a jumbo scenario,” Ness said. “There are probably agents out there filling that niche, but I’ve never had one.”

pwyche@jg.net

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