There is so much conversation going on about bad loans it makes you almost not want to even think about buying a home. But if you have a solid job and have paid your bills on time you can buy a home (read our thread about First Steps), even if you have not saved a ton of money. It’s always been true and still is. I’ve been helping folks buy homes with little or no money down for many years. And interestingly enough, nearly all are still in their homes.
There are still a number of government and non-profit organizations that offer assistance to first time buyers. The key is education, a fixed rate first mortgage (and that has always been the key) and the right Realtor® and Lender to put it all together. You can do it. The Wall Street Journal even reported recently that this ‘niche market’ may well be where the market finds its strength.
But the surprise is the support these loans have received, even from critics of exotic mortgages, who say low down payments themselves were not the problem, except when combined with other risk factors like adjustable rates or lax underwriting.
Moreover, they say, the housing market needs such nontraditional lending, as long as it is done prudently.
“This is subprime lending done right,” said John Taylor, president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, an umbrella group for 600 community organizations, and a staunch critic of the lending industry. “If they had done subprime this way in the first place, we wouldn’t have these problems.”
New Program for Buyers, With No Money Down by John Leland, Sept. 4, 2010; The Washington Post
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