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By Tara-Nicholle Nelson | Broker in San Francisco, CA

5 Insider Secrets for Coming Up With Cash for Down Payment

Most home buyers’ biggest hurdle is coming up with the cash for a sensible down payment. Gone are the days of zero-down loans, so if that was your plan, you’re going to need a new one! Coming up with a down payment for a home is a challenge because it’s not chump change we're talking about, here. The down payment on a $200,000 house, for example, will run you anywhere from $7,000 (on an FHA loan) to $40,000!

That might seem like an insurmountable amount of coin to come up with, but it’s actually more doable than you might think. Some buyers will simply save up their own cash, even if it takes many, many moons. The good news is that if you still need some help to boost your down-payment savings, there are resources you can harness to power your home-buying pursuit:

  1. The FHA Bridal Registry.  Yes - you read that right! The FHA Bridal Registry Program enables wanna-be home buyers to apply their families’ wedding gifts toward their down payments. And although it’s named a “bridal registry” program, you don’t have to be a prenuptial couple to use it. You could also use this program to collect gifts for graduation, the arrival of a baby or some other major life event in which people want to give you gifts.

    The FHA Bridal Registry works like a traditional registry, but is more flexible. The registrants visit their choice of FHA mortgage lenders and set up what essentially is a custodial savings account for the sole purpose of funding their down payment. The couple’s (or individual’s) family and friends can either deposit funds directly into the account or give the cash or check to the couple or individual, who then deposits it into the account. The account’s flexibility also goes beyond that of traditional down payment gift rules that are applicable to FHA loans, which are detailed below in insider secret #2. With the FHA Bridal Registry Program, the only gift documentation required is “lender and borrower certification of the funds.”
  1. Family gifts.  Most lenders will allow home buyers to apply gift money from family members toward their down payment - within guidelines, that is. First, the lender will require a letter from the giver verifying that it in fact is a gift and not a loan. (They generally frown upon it being a loan because it would add to the buyer’s debt and change their debt-to-income ratio.) And second, the person giving you the money must be a relative. The reasoning here is that a friend will most likely expect you to repay the money, whereas a relative won’t.

    FHA loans will allow the gift to make up any portion or all of the buyer’s down payment, many conventional (non-FHA) loan programs will restrict the proportion of a buyer’s down payment that can come from gift money.  The lender may also have specific ways they want to see the money go into and out of your accounts. Before you accept a gift toward your down payment, be sure to check with your mortgage broker or loan rep to be sure that you’re dotting all the right i's and crossing all the right t's.
  1. Your Employer.  Some companies offer assistance programs to employees. Most are government, university, large company and financial industry employers. One example is safety workers: n some areas, safety workers like firefighters and police can have access to down payment grants from their employers if they buy properties in the city where they are on-call as first responders. Also, many large colleges and universities, very large companies and banks and lending institutions offer down payment help and have below-market-rate mortgages set up for faculty members and staffers.  Check with your Human Resources department to see if any such program is available to you.
  2. City/County/State Programs.  Some states, counties and cities still offer programs that lend or give home buyers some assistance for down payments. These programs vary widely in scope - for instance, many target buyers with low and moderate incomes, while some seek to help the buyers of foreclosed or fixer-upper type homes. Some don’t have to repaid - meaning they are given as grants and are forgiven entirely if the buyer lives in the property for 30 years, but must be repaid if the buyer sells or rents the home out before the 30 years elapses. The programs pretty much all have some sort of homeowner education component that requires applicants to take personal finance and homeownership preparedness classes before they can receive funds. To learn more, visit your city, county and state websites to learn about programs that might be able to help you.
  1. Your Retirement Funds.  Many financial advisors would advise against this, but if you have a 401K or Roth IRA account and some years to go before retirement, you might be able to tap into it or even borrow against your own funds for your down payment. Currently, you can take up to $10,000 out of your Traditional IRA with no penalty to put toward the purchase of your first home, but you will be taxed.  You can take as much as you want out of your Roth IRA contributions with no penalty or taxes, though, and as much as $10,000 from your earnings penalty-free for your down payment.  The rules get a little tricky, here, so definitely check in with your tax and financial advisors. 

    And while you can’t similarly draw from your 401K, many retirement and pension plans 
    will allow you to borrow the money against your funds, then repay it to yourself – at interest. So the choice there comes down to paying your lender back with interest or paying yourself with interest. That choice should be you! But first, get some advice from your CPA or financial planner. This option might not make financial sense for your particular situation.
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By Scarlett Justice,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 13:06
Great article. I hadn't heard about the bridal registry but that is a great idea! Especially for newly married couples. Thanks
By Connie Moreno,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 13:23
Great idea for young couples to start out.
By Brian Petrelli,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 13:23
Great article. Too many agents misinform clients that "There are no more $0 down programs." Some of the county and state programs available are incredible!
By Joe Healey,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 13:34
Unlike a lot of 'experts' Tara provides good information not readily available. Good article.
By Timothy M. Garrity,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 13:54
Great tips as always, Tara.

Thanks for sharing your insight.

By Pamela Stockler,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 14:10
I suppose this article is as good as everyone makes it out to be...yet, for those of us who are older, living at the edge of their means, who have no family to provide gifts, and who live in areas in this country [i.e. Ohio] which are financially ruined, this article gives little if any insight to what I can do.

I am divorced, working every day with little to no savings, and have few if any resources to assist me. Yet, renting for the remainder of my life is NOT an option. I have a dream of owning a modest home to provide myself with a firm foundation, yet I don't see any light at the end of my tunnel. Hopefully Tara can come up with ideas for someone like me.
By Elise Groves (707) 546-0440,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 14:13
Great info Tara. I love the bridal registry! Thanks for that!
By Silvia Gimbutas,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 14:18
This articles sounds even ironic: The title says "5 Insiders Secrets for Coming Up With Cash for Down Payment"Don't you think we already thought about those possibilities? ! We , people on salaries, we need help, actual ideas of "insiders"that can help us go through these difficult times : Don't make fun of us.
By Debra Ochoa,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 14:23
What happens when you lose your job go chapter 13 bankruptcy your second moorage will not agree on the 13 they want all the money after years of great credit now its the worse,now back to work but are credit is destroyed how do you buy another house? Why don't they look at circumstances before judging you.
By Renee D,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 14:39
IDEAS HERE ***are some ideas, but not for an immediate House purchase. Many Investors are buying houses with their own cash, and then doing what is CALLED, Rent To Own or Lease Option. This way you have time to save your money and build your credit until you qualify for a loan. You will need 5-8,000 as your OPTION FEE. I agree, there should be NO SECRET AT ALL.~Your best to save your money and wait, as we are still in a declining Market. Things should Improve over time, so just be a little patience and no, "everything if Subject to Change". Keep the faith!
By Sharonra2000,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 14:41
im not sure this does anyone any good with the housing market the way it is. i live in springfield vermont and have my home listed for four months now and not one single person has been in my home to look. it is priced right and is in nice shape and staged so i know how to sell a house. never in thirty five years of owning a home and selling a home have i seen anything like this. to make matters worse we have the media telling people that this is not a good time to buy so i thank the media for their part in this pathetic atmosphere of homeowners with the hope of selling a house in a market that is completely non-existent!
By Julie Schilf,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 14:47
I don't think the bridal registry program is active anymore...can someone confirm this?
By Carla Lewis,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 14:55
I want to acknowledge the disquiet, frustration and even pain behind the comments from Debra, Silvia and Pamela. I suspect there may be others who will not leave a comment even while nodding their heads in support of finding answers for those who are feeling financially stuck and yearning for a simple well-lit path to getting back on their feet and into a house they can call 'home'.

I have been studying a number of creative (and yes, they are also legal, moral and ethical!) approaches for people who cannot afford to sell their homes and for people who are challenged in qualifying for a traditional home loan.

In my neck of the woods (southeast Michigan) there are a LOT of people facing such challenges.

I am not sure of the rules governing posts on this site so choose to not risk violating anyone's sensitivities with some bold url links, recommendations to 'try this' or my own insights into some interesting non-traditional approaches.

I will, however, welcome the chance to connect individually if you choose to send me an email via my Trulia profile.

Thank you and BEST wishes.
By Barbsdeck,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 14:59
Nothing new here - certainly no "insiders" secrets with exception of the FHA registry. But even that holds little hope for "regular' people. it would take a lot of large monetary gifts to get anywhere near the 20% plus closing costs needed now.

We're in our mid-50's, been out of work for nearly a year, house underwater, no health insurance, and about to run out of the last of our savings we've been using to pay the mortgage on our modest 200K home we've owned 10 yrs. We're probably going to lose this house, lose our excellent credit rating, and don't foresee ever being able to save up the 40K plus we'd need to pay down on a similar home. And there are many thousands of people in our situation. Until the 5% down for qualified buyers is brought back, little is going to change.
By Marty Hartsell,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 15:16
Nice headline but very weak in content. It is hard to have a relevant article each time but this one is a miss.
By Helen Oliveri,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 15:18
Great Tips Tara
By Sue Cortes,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 15:24
Excellent idea Tara. I've never heard of 'Bridal Registry' this info is just right on time for my daughter's wedding next year! I'll definitely let her know about the registry. -)

Thank you so much for sharing the info.
By Sean D Minor,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 15:24
Pamela, I can certainly understand your frustration and wanting to be a homeowner. Lots of people don't have the traditional means of obtaining a downpayment or financing for a home. One thing you can do is look for a home that is a rent with an option to buy. Ask for a monthly credit towards the downpayment for each month the rent is paid on time. There are advantages and disadvantages to writing in a purchase price at time of signing. This is something to discuss with your attorney and agent. After some time, you will have accrued a decent amount of money towards your downpayment. Not a bad idea right? You gotta live somewhere.

Before you naysayers continue and read my next suggestion, don't balk at the idea without thinking about it and asking for help. You would be surprised how many people have money in retirement accounts that receive paultry returns. Maybe you don't have a 401k or IRA to borrow from, but what about a family member or good friend? Ask them, what have you got to lose? I doubt you will pay 4% for the money, but if you gave them 7% you might double their returns. They just transfer to a self directed IRA. There are some small fees involved.

What about looking for a new job that pays more?

Places to cut costs around the house, cell phone, cable bill...Pamela you have to understand that as agents we have seen the clients who complain about not having enough money, but they have a nicer smartphone, nicer watch and jewelry and a handbag that could pay my mortgage for two months, and they eat out all the time.

Downpayment money is difficult to come up with and there are no magic pills. Sorry if Tara made it seem that way. With FHA only requiring 3.5%, the rest is up to the buyer. Like everything in this world, there are no magic pills. Ahh, but only if there were we would all be Warren Buffets or Oprahs.

I could come up with others, but I'm sure you have thought about them already. Some times in life we need to sacrifice some comforts for awhile to get what we truly want.

By Jack Hurley,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 15:28
By Jack
I'm a realtor on Table Rock Lake Missouri. There's no questions it's tough....for both sellers and realtors....yea....
where's the buyer? Real Estate is a heck of lot better than the Stock Market, Banks and whatever right now... I say quit "whining" .... and think about it ....I appreciate the article...if you look at the options....maybe if you're smart you can figure out an option for yourself.
By Mortgagemuscle,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 15:43
Why do some take some helpful hints personally? We all recognize that there are many good people suffering financially and in some cases losing literally everything. My heart goes out to each and everyone of you. There is no doubt the dream of home ownership is no longer what it used to be, however for some it still is their dream . If these helpful suggestions enlighten/educate even a few, it was was well worth the effort.
By Damion Flynn,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 15:59
While it looks like your market is in California, and I am unsure of programs available there, but in my neck of the woods (Southern Mississippi), the USDA offers 100% financing on rural properties through their Rural Development initiative.
Although a bit unconventional, it is also possible to take a property "Subject To" in most states or through a Lease Purchase (seller financing), not to be confused with a Lease Option which is simply an option to purchase at a predetermined price and an attached lease.
By Joanie Petit,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 16:19
The first step to saving money is living below your means. Self-discipline is key. Find the parts of your life that you are good at managing & use that same thought process/will when it comes to how you save or spend money. Control spending instead of it controlling you. Small amounts add up eventually. Reward yourself with an inexpensive treat when you reach a set goal. Set aside a small amount each month to give to someone less fortunate as a reminder of how blessed you really are.
If there is absolutley no way to save the money at this time in your life, it is better to not commit to home ownership. Buying a home (or anything) you can't afford is not a good idea.
By Meg Fielding,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 16:20
i just bought a foreclosure and the city/state gave me $10k in downpayment/settlement/closing costs. I had to bring $800 to the table. If you look around, there are still programs. $5000 was a grant, forgivable after five years of living in the house, and the other $5000 was a no-interest loan for the term of the mortgage.
By Dr Aneed,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 17:00
pls..delete my e-mail addres..thanks.
By Voices Member,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 17:14
Tra You always have great info
By Akil Walker,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 17:39
The Bridal Registry is new to me & great idea.

thanks for the info
By Elizabeth Wilcher,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 17:47
If the Bridal Registry still exists, it seems tacky to ask friends and relatives to help you buy a house. I would feel put upon if someone asked me to do this, no matter how close they were to me. Your other tips might be helpful to some, but the only way I've been able to come up with a down payment is through an inheritance. And I'm actually working more hours than I did for the past couple of years, so I can finally afford those monthly payments and upkeep on property. In this present economy, I am indeed blessed to be able to buy a house.
By Maxcal1,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 18:18
Sound advise Tara. I'm thinking about taping into my 401K for my down payment. I will have to pay 1% for ten years, if I borrow against my account.
By Azeem Karmally-Realtor,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 18:32
This is great information. I shared this information with all my clients. Thank you!
By Esther Cunningham,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 18:34
There's nothing tacky with being honest and asking guests to not buy you another toaster or blender, but instead to make a donation to your Bridal Registry. It's reality-based, supportive and actually helpful during a time of need. And anyone who feels put upon for not being able to buy the usual set of champagne flutes, should ask themselves what's more important? Helping the newly married couple reach their BIG dream of
home-ownership, or giving them something that will most likely sit in a cabinet? Thanks, Tara!
By Ladyjane,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 18:35
folks - please live within your means - just because articles and banks have told people that since they make so much money they can afford, say a $350k house. Vacations, buying the kids everything they always wanted, indulging in your favorite things - well, that all needs taken into consideration. Think about the money you are spending on a house before you eat, cloth your family, or repair a car. If you put it into perspective, a mortgage can be a chunk of money before spending any money on the aforementioned, and then you start using credit cards. And that my friends is why our country is in the mess we are in.
By Julie Flint, Buyers Agent,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 18:57
Meg Fielding: I would like to know more about who you contacted in your state for your grants and the no interest loans. I do know that our local Realtors office has a program to help low/moderate income buyers. They will match what the home buyer already has. I give out a lot of information on the USDA program, which is not without strings attached. But still a great way to get your foot in the door. Please e-mail me at jflint@evans-properties.com

Thank you!
By Mick Shaw,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 19:06
Great Article but we do still have 100% loans in Virginia through our Housing Development Authority and they just increased the income limits fairly significantly. The best advice is to talk to a local lender as soon as possible and begin to work together on all the possibilities. Working with a REALTOR to find a home in great shape and within your means will provide the cornerstone to achieving financial independence sooner than you might imagine!
By Naomi Bratton,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 20:50
I agree with Mick, use a Realtor and a local lender! In central Arkansas, we still have USDA Rural Development no money down loans available at competitive rates as well as VA loans for our veterans that are 0% down. It's a great time to buy, with FOX news announcing this evening that loans rates were down to 4.25%, on a national average. As a Realtor, the main thing I see with younger home buyers is they want a home like their parents have without saving for several years to get it. As a nation, we need to learn how to save and sacrifice to get what we want!
By Alex Hayes,  Thu Aug 11 2011, 21:41
Some novel ideas worth considering, indeed. Thanks for thinking outside the box.
By Victoria,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 01:23
Thanks for all the information. My conclusion: As long as the markets are so easily manipulated, buying a house isn't considered buying "an asset" anymore. Be very careful about this decision.
By Deepak_rimal,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 01:30
Thank you for this great information, actually I am an Indian, based in India and looking to buy a house (GIFT) for my daughter, studying in Ventura. First of all I would like to check, can my daughter - Foreign Students in US, or Me - a Non US Resident can buy a property there.

Also, in case we are permitted to buy, what will the payment terms, and regulations etc., as my daughter there in US for the last 2 years only, under Student Visa, and not having any Credits, also Me and my wife just visiting my daughter once a year with our US VISIT Visa.

I basically prefer to buy 2-3 Bed Room house in Ventura, alternatively in Camarillo in California, and my budget is around 02 hundred thousand US Dollors, but I can try to stretch it further, depending upon, if we can get a house loan there. Because sending money out from India is bit difficult or lengthy process, but I am also checking here in India, if I could get an approval from the concerned Govt. Department/Bank, to transfer sufficient funds to buy a house in US, either into my daughter's account directly or to the House owner directly or through the Real Estate company account, for the purchase of property there, I want to check, how it will work ?

Can you please suggest me, how to go further.
By Marilyn R Dyer,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 03:08
Pamela, There is hope I am a Realtor in Montgomery county Ohio much of our area qualifies for USDA loans a no money down and no pmi Check this out also call Rural Development. You must ot move a small town or rural area to be eligible I believe the credit score is 620
By Joanne Infurna,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 06:35
Great advise!
Jo Anne Infurna Prudential Sterling Properties http://www.joanneinfurna.com 321-544-8144
By mkpltnck,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 07:25
I am looking for am property right now, i found a property i would want to retire on if I ever can retire,, how can I work this in Iowa?with no money down?
By Liz Benitez,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 07:41
Thank you for the great ideas.
I had a client purchase a condo with a loan against her 401K, one of the smoothest transactions ever.
By Liz Benitez,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 07:43
Thank you, these are great. I had a client that purchased a condo with a loan against her 401k. It was one of the smoothest transactions ever.
By Chaslowrie,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 08:16
Thank you for the information Tara. I am a real estate investor and occasionally I meet people that this information will help.
Charles Lowrie
By Llepke,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 09:23
I want info on City/County/State Programs in Chicago, I'm on social security disability, I can't even afford to breathe and have no family. I just gotta get out of this mold infested cave of an apartment that gobbles up 70% of my monthly income. Somebody please help me.
By Gina,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 09:50
What about someone who bought a 297K house, has been paying the mortgage on time for 5+ years and the bank won't loan me money to buy a second house even though I could put down 20% and make both payments? What can I do? Then I could rent the first house (I have many of my students living in my neighborhood and don't like my HOA that is why I want to move to another and rent this house) to one of you and set up account for a down-payment savings as part of the rent... Any suggestions on getting the second mortgage for the second home?
By Wolfjen,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 10:32
there's a great cash gift registry that we used for this. it's called http://www.depositagift.com really cool site that lets you register for your down payment in a fun way so that guests can contribute towards different parts of the home. we received around $5,000 in gifts :)
By Patty Herbert, ABR, SRES,GRI, SFR,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 10:35
I love the FHA Bridal Registry idea!! Is it still an active program? I am a realtor in the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex. Many buyer's can utilize this...
By Mesohoppy,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 11:28
Not exactly brilliant ideas...
By Cathy Robinson,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 12:05
Owning a home is not that necessary when you realize how much interest you have paid the bank, it is really a crime the way they get all this money from ya. It is actually renting, not owning. We put 20% down and did the 30 year mortgage and after 16 years still own 2/3 of what we borrowed and have paid 75000 in interest. The loan was for 75000. Still have to pay off the remainder and another 40000 in interest. Go figure. and don't forget property taxes that have more than doubled, even with new laws and lower values. ....another 220 a month.
By Isabel Elsesser, R.E. Pro,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 14:39
If anyone wants to buy in Metro Atlanta, GA
I have great ideas for your down payment assistance.
Call me direct 770-307-8751
Isabel Elsesser - 15 years in the business of selling residential real estate.
First United Realty - http://www.isabelsnewhomes.com
By Rod Barbee,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 14:42
Great information. Thanks for sharing!!!
By TEAM WENZEL,  Fri Aug 12 2011, 18:23
Great information everyone should know!!!

Lisa Wenzel
Wenzel Select Properties, Ltd.
630 430-4797
By Milton Knight, Hablo Español,  Sat Aug 13 2011, 10:54
Good Article Tara,

For those that do not any of the resources mentioned in the article...HUD still offers the $100 down payment program through FHA for HUD properties.

There also may be assitance available through the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

Folks looking for assitance through the HUD $100 down payment program or through the CRA should consult their loacal specialist.
By Tamara Schuster Broker, Agent,  Sat Aug 13 2011, 19:48
Nice information. I love this from Sean as it is so true "Places to cut costs around the house, cell phone, cable bill...Pamela you have to understand that as agents we have seen the clients who complain about not having enough money, but they have a nicer smartphone, nicer watch and jewelry and a handbag that could pay my mortgage for two months, and they eat out all the time." Watch your expenses. Be conservative and it is easier to save and you will appreciate your home more.
By Elisha La Croix,  Sat Aug 13 2011, 20:47
Great advice! Especially interested in the city/state grants! I will definitely look into that. Thanks.
By Wes Black,  Sun Aug 14 2011, 20:57
Great info. The bridal registry option really surprised me!
By Emily Schukman,  Mon Aug 15 2011, 09:00
Look into hudhomestore.com. In some areas of the US, you only have to put down $100 dollars. They might require a little bit of work, but they will typically pay for 3% of closing costs as well. Just make sure you have a knowledgable agent who will work hard because it does take more work than the typical transaction. It's a longer process, but it's worth it!
By Sandy Slinkard,  Mon Aug 15 2011, 15:07
Great article!!! Hope the idots in Washington does not read this.....they would have a field day messing this up too. Thanks for sharing
By Rose V. Boas,  Mon Aug 15 2011, 15:59
Hi Tara,

Unfortunately, some counties in California have done away with CHDAP AND DAP programs due to budget issues. I understand that San Francisco has done well with its Mayor Program. Great income qualifying limits too. I wish we had that, or something similar to it, here in the EAST BAY!

I'm intrigued with the bridal registry program. I'll have to look into that :-)

Thanks, great post!
By Brenda Feria,  Mon Aug 15 2011, 17:40
Tara, I had never heard of the FHA Bridal Registry Program. Great to know! Thanks for all of your great information!
By Kevin Mace,  Mon Aug 15 2011, 18:30
Good info although I do not know how realistic the bridal registry is. USDA and VA still lend to 100%. I have closed probably a dozen deals this year where clients ended up with lower monthly payments than rent with 0% down and closing costs rolled in. All they paid for was an appraisal - it is still out there folks!

Good neighbor next door program - Teacher, Firefighter, Police person etc. buys a hud owned house and as long as they stay in it for 3 years they get it for 50% off!!! $100 down! buy for $75k and sell 3 years later for $150k!

Homepath program for fannie owned properties - 3% down NO appraisal, No mortgage insurance

homesteps for freddie owned properties.

We can still get loans done down to a 540 credit score and can still do no income loans
By Lynn Fredregill,  Tue Aug 16 2011, 04:33
I tip my hat to Kevin Mace for offering some REAL solutions to the current issues facing those who are having serious homeownership problems. He offers some real insider tips that are of real use to the general public. Unfortunately; these are programs that many Realtors don't care to explore because; quite frankly, they are more work and less money. Like Kevin; I've ferreted out these programs and many, many programs in the Houston area that are not readily known about - but are readily available. In this area there is a TAHS designation that Realtors can obtain. This refers to Texas Affordable Housing Specialist and those of us who have this designation have paid the education price and are ready, willing and able to assist those of you who are having a hard time. Find out what the Realtor designation in your area is for those Realtors who are willing to go that extra mile to help buyers who need help - not just the shoo-ins with money and credit. In general; I work harder and make less for these buyers BUT they are so happy, so thrilled, so grateful to have their own home that working with them is an absolute delight. I love the easy ones; but I wouldn't trade these buyers for anything. They make me feel so good about being a Realtor AND ........ they tell everyone they know how absolutely wonderful I am lol.
By Debra DeRoco,  Wed Aug 17 2011, 12:45
Ecellent Tips!
By Michael Citron,  Wed Aug 17 2011, 13:47
Great article.
By John Mosher,  Wed Aug 17 2011, 20:29
I have had 3 home loans in the past Mortgage co. added down payment to price of property 175K home paid 195K but the money is all on paper if someone is saying I can not still use this please E MAIL me with correction jmosherjr1957@yahoo.com
By Greg Morris,  Thu Aug 18 2011, 14:36
Great info, great article!
By Carmen Brodeur- Top 1% Realtor,  Thu Aug 18 2011, 22:41
Thanks for the great advice.
By Lisa Goff,  Fri Aug 19 2011, 13:17
In our area we are seeing a few more OWNER FINANCING lsitngs than we used to. I would like to find one of those on a rural property somewhere outside Branson Mo. Maybe there are people who would be willing to do this for say 8% interest. As I understand it, that's more than they can get now with other investments. Or, I would like to find an investor who would buy a property I find and choose and then sell it to me in that way. I don't have to have the Taj Mahal, and I could scrape up a couple of thousand dollars. My credit is good. Any takers?
By Lisa Goff,  Fri Aug 19 2011, 13:20
Oh, P.S. Mr. Hurley, do you know if those rural development loans are available in Mo? Thank You
By Peggy Ulmer,  Wed Aug 24 2011, 07:08
I'm not impressed with the information except for the FHA registry party. I've had several clients that have moved to Enid, Oklahoma from CA and other places because of how affordable our community is. You can still find a nice flipped small home for $45-60,000. Oklahoma was the 5th best state to fair the housing market so it really is good to be in Oklahoma!
By NonRealtor,  Thu Aug 25 2011, 14:53
Save $100 per month. After 70 months you'll have $7,000. Save for another 170 months to cover closing costs and realtor's commission. Wait another year to buy, prices are declining. Good Luck
By Aram Arakelyan,  Sun Aug 28 2011, 22:54
Rent with an option to buy is the way to go.

Aram Arakelyan
Your LA Broker For Life!
By Joanne Bernardini,  Tue Aug 30 2011, 07:32
This is a great program -FHA Bridal Registry! I had never heard of it before and so glad you shared this! I will pass this on to my clients immediately!
By Ruth & Perry Mistry,  Tue Aug 30 2011, 22:34
Terrific post.

By Paul Claeyssens,  Wed Aug 31 2011, 12:37
There is an FHA GRANT LOAN available that I have used to put one of my buyers into a $350,000 property. It grants the buyer the 3% required for an FHA loan. I combined this grant with having the Sellers pay the closing costs, and it ended up that THE BUYER ONLY NEEDED LESS THAN 1% IN CASH TO MAKE THE PURCHASE. The lender I used was Mike Regan of the Regan Team, here in Sonoma and Marin Counties, just North of the San Francisco Bay. The Regan Team is on the internet for your reference. The Grant Loan program is only available through lenders who have been approved to do them, so you do need to ask around. Many lenders will not mention them if they are not approved to do them. I have a link on the front page of my own website leadingedgegprop.com for this loan. The loan does require great credit, and sufficient income to qualify.
By Paul Claeyssens,  Wed Aug 31 2011, 12:48
I often tell my first time buyers who are cash short my own success story. I was looking to buy my first home, and had accumulated some money toward the downpayment and closing costs. As I was looking, I casually mentioned to my Father what I was doing. He and my mother took an interest in what I was doing, and we talked about it as I went along. After a while, I found what I thought I could barely qualify to buy. When I told my Father, he asked if I saw anything else I liked. I said Yes, that there was a more expensive property, but I could not afford it. To my surprise, a week later, he called to say he would give me enough cash to make it possible to buy the more expensive property. He later said he would have helped me to buy any property, because he admired my efforts, and believed in me. Since I have shared this with some of my cash short clients, they have followed the same path. They sometimes asked for help, and sometimes did not ask for help from relatives and friends. If they were trusted and admired, more often than not, these buyers were OFFERED help with their downpayment or closing costs. START the process of looking and talking to a bank to see exactly what you need. START the process of establishing credit and accumulating your downpayment and closing costs.
By Don Maclary - Realtor* ABR*,  Wed Sep 7 2011, 07:16
Many are borrowing from IRAs today because they view a home today like an on sale stock and pay it back with what would have been future contributions.
By Roy Bush,  Sun Jul 14 2013, 15:57
I had a buyer that wanted to buy a home in Arizona, but he had a Chapter 7 bankruptcy 7 months ago. I introduced a loan program at http://www.cfsflex.com, they allow a mortgage after a

foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy. There is only a six month waiting period. This is perfect for individuals looking to become homeowners again.
By murlran,  Wed Oct 16 2013, 07:16
By murlran,  Wed Oct 16 2013, 07:17
am going to post this in multiple parts, it is not posting and maybe too long.

Great stuff here; but now to cast some light for a few of those that can't be happy until they buy a house. Well, you will pay taxes on it twice a year, or you will lose it. You will get the grass cut, buy the mower, gas it up, mow, or you will get expensive tickets. You will pay insurance, or your bank will expensively, for you. You will fix the roof when it leaks, or sustain substantial internal damage. You will be responsible for all utilities, pay them or they will go off(and the related appliances). You will encounter unforeseen expenses here and there, many of them, and you will fix them , or defer them, and they will eventually cost you more if deferred. What you will not have is a Landlord to call, to take care of it all for you. Bottom Line, if you are stretching real hard to own a home, relax a bit and re-consider the value of not needing to meet all those expenses and labors. They will be real, and every one will come with a time constraint(meaning when it needs done, you better be ready). Just getting into a mortgage, and a home, factors nothing of the costs in the days that follow.
By murlran,  Wed Oct 16 2013, 07:19
Just for reference, I have owned many homes, and a few apartment buildings, some land and a farm. But only while gainfully employed, with money in the bank(reserves for the unexpected), was I ever comfortable.
One more very important thought; if you miss a mortgage payment , it is far more damaging than missing a rent payment, can't catchup now a second month and envision a snowball growing larger and rolling faster behind you. Oh yes, poof can go your dream, and all the cash and labor you put into it.
On the flipside of that; this is the very best time to buy a home if you do it right. Interest rates are the lowest baby boomers have ever seen, the value/prices of good homes/properties have been rolled back as much as twenty years , if you shop hard and buy right. So, gainfully employed young people, you should be wasting no time. And my best advice to any New buyer, is to start with a rental property, rent adds to your Income for qualification, Tax deductions are still very generous(you can actually get a raise immediately, by changing your w-4, in anticipation of the deductions), monthly rents help to accumulate fix-it reserves(and some income, should your job go away), relatively small downpayment secures a large asset, that will grow in value faster than any rate of return to be found anywhere(secret of the wealthy by the way, in my own words)( a bit of math to illustrate; Put $10,000 down on a $200,000, 1st time buyer multi unit, It grows in value at 5 % in 1st yr, what did you make on your $10k ? right $10k, hmmm, yep, plus principle paid off by rents, oh and Tax deductions you never knew you had...). Possibility of a raise every year in the form of rent increases. I can go on... Just don't let the cliche', 'I don't want to be a Landlord'(hire a property manager/local Realtor, your tenants don't even have to know you own it) , cause you to start with a financial ball and chain around your neck. Do this math, and do it hard, until you see the value of this as your 1st time Buyer opportunity. You can buy a multi unit and qualify as a first timer, talk to your Realtor, usually up to a 4flat. Put Tara's tips, and many of the other tips, to work in the right place, the first time you buy. Thanks for reading, and hope no-one is offended by my frankness, but I have lived all sides, and compared them as well, and you must decide which one works best... Thanks Tara , great job !
By hinling,  Wed Oct 16 2013, 16:57
Thanks Tara, Great article especially the "FHA Bridal Registry". That's definitely something new to me.
By bangkopangasinan,  Sun May 18 2014, 19:29
Bangko Pangasinan offer Real estate purchase loan funds are typically business loans that are collateralized with different types of real estate. Loans to expand or improve your existing business and loans to refinance existing debt. Both conventional and government guaranteed loans are available.
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