WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Mortgage rates are declining at a time when Florida ranks near the top of the country in foreclosures.
Locking in those rates in what some call a buyer's market is easier said than done according to a homebuyer and mortgage broker in Palm Beach County.
Will Corrente has owned his dog grooming and daycare business called Very Important Paws for 8 years.
Corrente says his credit is excellent but says these days, "I'm kind of in a squeeze."
Corrente is selling his West Palm Beach home while trying to buy a new house.
Lenders are tightening the reins according to Corrente, making low mortgage rates harder to come by even for self employed business owners like himself.
"You're trapped. The economy is not going to grow unless people are allowed to take some kind of risk," said Corrente.
According to Informa Services Incorporated, Florida's average mortgage rate is 4 percent.
Palm Beach First Financial mortgage broker Eric Lieberman says getting approved for that rate just a few years ago was easy, to say the least.
"Pretty much all you needed was a pulse. I mean fog up a mirror and you can get a mortgage," said Leiberman.
In 2011, Lieberman says it's a complete reversal.
"For this whole process imagine you're going to the dentist every day or so because it's pulling teeth you know, just the amount of paperwork they want," said Lieberman.
Lieberman says buyers should expect to provide a detailed financial history.
Then, expect that history to be scrutinized like never before.
It's one part of the housing market recovery in a state where the housing market bubble burst hard.
You can find the latest foreclosure numbers for Florida and its counties here .