Right now, many lenders have tightened their loan underwriting criteria: they're screening applicants more rigorously for higher credit-ratings, asking for larger down payments, giving fewer concessions, and are becoming increasingly more rigid about their terms. If you have good to great credit and enough cash (for the down-payment and closing costs), then you should be able to get a loan.
If your credit is decent, but you're strapped for cash (or you're unwilling to spend the amount of cash required to transact most mortgages today), then you have another option: creative financing. If you know what you're doing, then you could negotiate some form of seller financing with a seller to purchase your new home. However, if you don't know what you're doing, then FIND someone who does. For example, interview a few realtors, and ask them if they have any experience with creative financing. Some do; many do not.
You could also work with an investor, who could negotiate the deal (including work the numbers), and assign the deal to you. Nevertheless, beware there are people out there, who call themselves investors, who don't know what they're doing. So, you need to interview them too, in order to see if they're familiar with creative financing. Usually, you'll find that many serious investors collaborate with realtors.
Yet, if your credit isn't so great, then there still might be option for you. Although you'll probably not be able to purchase a property immediately, you might--depending upon your credit and circumstances--be able to enter into a lease-option (another kind of creative financing). Think of this as getting a home on rent-to-own terms. This way you could spend the time you're renting to work on your credit and to save up a down-payment simultaneously.
There's a lot more I could write on this, but I don't want to overwhelm you with too many details. Just know that you have several options--besides using convention (aka institutional [bank]) financing--to purchase your new home.
Interest rates are still low, low, low and while 99% of loans will now require a downpayment, minimum is only about 3%.
VA loans do not require down payment and the seller can pay closing costs and prepaids.
FHA is the most popular form of financing right now, but you will need 3-5% most likely. Still, that;s a long way off from the 20% needed when I bought my first home 25 years ago!
I think Wells Fargo is offering a 1 year/1% buy down for the month of October.
And I agree with the answer below, too - this is not a recession.
Sellers, especially those who have been on the market a while and have little equity in their property will find it difficult to make concessions at closing. ( closing costs ) If you take the time to squirrel away some cash, you will be in a much much stronger position when you do find a house.
Prices are flat to down in many areas, and there are many properties that seem to be undervalued at this time.