First, congratulations on coming to the end of long journey. Next, you will notice a continual theme throughout my answer, which is; in consideration of our current banking debacle, any and all loan products and/or underwriting requirements can change without notice. Thus, please keep in mind that what is applicable today may not be in the fall.
The quick and easy answer to your question is, 'yes at this time the physicianâ€™s loan is still available.â€™ Some of your bigger banks such as Bank of America are ceasing with these physician loan programs as we speak, this month. However, there are smaller banks/lenders, especially local ones that might still take this loan and as Gwen said, keep them 'in house.'
The no PMI part is true for now. I personally would not let PMI keep me from buying a house if all other factors were in my favor. PMI, in certain situations is still tax deductable through 2010. You need to talk to your CPA about this aspect to see if it is applicable to you. PMI rates are not that high depending on the credit worthiness of the borrower and loan amount. Also, in a lot of cases, if you buy smart and build equity quick you might be able to drop PMI after 3 years. Again, depends on your situation and this can be addressed very easily in analyzing your situation if PMI becomes applicable to your loan. My suggestion is don't dismiss buying because of PMI; just look at how it will affect you in the overall scheme of buying and the loan.
In my experience these physician loans are typically about three quarters of a point higher in interest. Although, physicians are preferred borrowers, this loan is still a 100% loan and investors shriek at the thought of this so I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if this product becomes less and less available. As more national banks no longer offer this loan Iâ€™d expect interest rates to be 1 to 2 points higher than a traditional FHA/Conventional loan. The reason why is simply supply and demand of this loan product but a local lender might be more generous in terms of rates.
You're right; it doesn't get any better to buy than now. Contrary to what the news says, especially here in OK where our local real estate market is one of the best in the nation. Definitely check out Ryanâ€™s blog in regards to what is happening with OK and Edmond real estate. It will help you stay on top of the market while preparing to buy.
Lastly, if you have to go FHA all is not bad. With 15k down (assuming good credit/income) you are looking somewhere in the ballpark of $300k to $400k and phenomenal interest rates.
Best of luck!