Is it time to buy a house?

Is it time to buy a house? »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore. -- The slow economy does have some silver lining.

A few years ago you might have thought of buying a house -- something to live in, maybe even a vacation place -- but they were too expensive.

Times have changed and prices have dropped.

"Two years ago if you were going to spend $200,000, your selection was limited," said Kevin Simrin with RE/Max Real Estate. "Now they're moving into nice houses for $130,000. Now people are buying houses that are ready to move into.  So it's great."

It's great if you can get a loan, but you've heard the banks aren't lending.

Don't say that to a mortgage lender.

"I'm frustrated!" said Julie Smith at Precision Funding. "I want the media to tell the folks there are loans out there. There are lenders that would love to put borrowers in homes!"

The zero-down payment loans and the "you tell us how much you earn and we won't make you prove it" loans are gone. But if you have a job and decent credit, there is money out there. You can still buy for as little as 3 percent down.

Some of the biggest bargains are being found in what were once the hottest markets.

Auction buyers are now buying nice vacation homes in Bend, Ore., for as little as $160,000. | LINK