With the upturn of the real estate market, this year home values and home prices have continued to climb. With this increase in price, the Grayson County area is experiencing a scarcity of homes priced below $200,000.

Local real estate agent Michelle McCullough with ERA Steve Cook & Co. Realtors said she has had difficulty finding her buyers homes under $200,000.

“That’s the most popular price range,” McCullough said. “And those sell really quickly if they are priced right. There are a lot more buyers than there are properties. Sellers know that and are selling their homes at the top of the price range. They can’t go up too high because they know they have to appraise but they know this is likely the best price they will be able to get for their home because of the market.”

Rosie Reed with Legacy Point Realty explained there are challenges beyond simply finding a home up for sale in the moderately priced market.

“My biggest hurtle has been people that can only get FHA financing within that price range,” Reed said. “There is a scarcity of inventory that meets their price point that would also qualify for FHA. I’ve also got a ton of clients looking for property with no improvements that they can put a modular or mobile home on. That is hard to find because there are restrictions.”

The U.S. Federal Housing Administration offers FHA insured loans for those who qualify. The mortgage is insurance backed and provided by FHA approved lenders. These loans have strict requirements for houses that limit the number of homes that a buyer can choose.

McCullough said homes that have fallen into disrepair often have a difficult time gaining FHA approval.

“They have to have no roof leaks,” McCullough said. “There can’t be any rotting wood. They have to have a heat and an air source. Sometimes they have window units or space heater, which don’t count. The house has to have flooring.”

Reed went on to explain an FHA 203k loan allows buyers to get the necessary repairs done before close.

“A FHA 203K lender is extremely hard to find,” Reed said. “It’s where a house is not livable and they get an interim loan to get the work done before close. They get a bid up front and submit that and then the work is rolled in with the loan. The only person I know of that is doing them right now is Bill Lindbloom with VIP Mortgage.”

There are several initiatives currently in place to assist with the moderate housing shortage. McCullough said Denison has a program that encourages builders to build smaller homes in the low price range. The builder is given incentives to complete these homes and the city receives new homes that fall within the desired price range.