Mortgage rates are still pretty cheap, even though they've risen a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago.
And with the stronger economy pulling housing along, "this is a good time to get into the market," Anika Khan, Wells Fargo Securities senior economist, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday.
But many first-time homebuyers are being left on the sidelines, watching all that cheap money inch higher because lending requirements remain tight.
The average rate on a 30-year loan ticked up to 4.41 percent from 4.40 percent last week. Fifteen-year mortgages increased to 3.47 percent from 3.42 percent.
In this video, Khan gives three reasons why it's still so hard for would-be buyers to purchase their first home.
—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere.