by Myles Biggs
However, the truth remains that as the Federal Reserve tapers
their stimulus spending and mortgage rates begin to return to healthy market
levels, lenders will focus more on home buyers and less on those people looking
to capitalize on low refinancing rates.While mortgages are slowly getting easier to obtain, the
housing market is still far from pre-recession borrowing levels and many
would-be home owners are still trapped in rental situations. Pair this fact
with the media’s fixation on rising mortgage rates and the spirits of many
potential home buyers have been anything but high.
Conventional loans, which are the least-expensive but
hardest to qualify for, require a minimum down payment of at least five
percent. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, which are typically easier
to get and thus popular with first-time home buyers, require a down payment of
around three percent. However, these FHA loans require some type of mortgage
insurance and are becoming more expensive.
So while the thought of buying a home without needing a down
payment may seem like a faint dream of years past, there are several groups that have rallied
around helping middle-income buyers get past their down payment barrier.
How can you qualify for assistance from one of these groups?
Some of the programs, like the “Good Neighbor Next Door” program from HUD work towards
helping public servants like teachers and law enforcement officials. For
military personnel and their families, programs are available from the
Department of Veterans Affairs and The Navy Federal Credit Union. Still, some
programs focus more on your location, like loans from the USDA which cater to
buyers in rural areas.
Programs Near You
While some of the programs mentioned above are taking place
on a national scale, your local community may also have programs in place for
housing assistance. As you begin shopping around for the best mortgage rates
and speaking with various loan officers, be sure to ask about any available
programs that can help you get past the hurdle of a large down payment.
An article, published written last week by MSN
Money, goes into greater detail on this subject and even offers links to
several helpful tools and additional information.
Did you receive assistance in buying your home? Tell us
about your story in the comments section below.