If you're looking for a house, you may first need to look at your bank account. Gone are the days of low, or even zero down payments.

The Obama administration would like to set down payments for conventional home loans (those guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie) at a minimum of 10%. Sheila Bair, the Chairperson of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the entity that is charged to maintain stability in the nation's banking system, would like the minimum down payment to be 20%!

Compared to the early 2000's, not many homes were sold in 2010; of course, many people had lost their job, or had been forclosed on, two situations which would not help in securing a loan. However,  a large factor was that not many people could afford the down payment, as the median down payment for a home in major U.S. cities was 22% in 2010.

Banks are the force behind the increase in down payments as history (and common sense) tells us with a higher down payment there will be fewer delinquencies. Most people would not be as likely to walk away when there's sknin the game, specifically, their skin.

So, if we combine the fact that mortgage rates have been creeping higher lately, (they are at their highest rate since April, 2010,)  with the higher down payment, this will make the cost of getting into and owning a home more expensive, thereby pushing some folks out of the market. Although, if there is less demand, this could force home prices down further. Not good if you own a home, but better for you if you're in the market to buy.

An alternative is a loan from the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). The FHA requires only a 3.5% down payment, but their interest rates are higher and you have to pay personal mortgage insurance, all which makes your monthly house payments higher.

So, it could be if you're in the market to buy a home you need to re-think it. Should you be thinking about a less expensive house, or should you even be considering a house at this point?