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Down payment assistance is not all gone
by Annie Christian - Special to the Sparks Tribune
Nov 10, 2011 | 1166 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Annie Christian
Annie Christian
Is it so hard to believe that all the down payment assistance programs have recently dried up? These down payment assistance programs are currently out of funds. Certainly it has something to do with the fact that the federal government is cutting budgets. If the fed cannot dig itself out of its financial mess, home buyers are certainly not the top priority.

Secondly, since the real estate bust began, most banks prefer buyers to put up a little of their own money to show they have a vested interest in the home. Can you blame the banks for not wanting to loan money to a buyer who can’t or won’t invest in themselves? It is true that there are no more 100 percent conventional loan programs other than Veterans Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture loans. In a 100 percent loan situation, the buyer risks nothing and has nothing to lose by walking away later.

How to qualify for an FHA Loan

The FHA home loan was created in 1934 by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA home loans were designed to help Americans fulfill their dream of home ownership and are the easiest type of mortgage loan to qualify for. Among the home loan options available that require a minimal down payment, FHA loans are the most popular. In fact, the FHA loan is the most flexible type of home mortgage loan.

The essentials of FHA loans are:

• Steady employment history of two years with the same employer / the same field.

• Consistent or increasing income over the past two years.

• Good credit, preferably with no late payments.

• Any bankruptcy on record must be at least two years old and no reported late payments post-bankruptcy.

• Any foreclosure must be at least three years old, with good credit for the past three years.

• Mortgage payment qualified for must be approximately 30 percent of your total monthly gross income.

If you answered “Yes” to all these statements, you should have no problem qualifying for an FHA home loan. Your dream of owning a home is right around the corner. Great tax write-offs and pride of home ownership are yours. What a great time to buy. Low home prices plus low interest rates equals low monthly payment.

Q: Does it take long to find out if I qualify for a home loan?

A: The credit approval process usually takes about 15 minutes. Typically, you find out the same day.

Q: What type of documentation do I need to provide?

A: Your loan officer will require two years of tax returns, your two most recent bank statements, two most recent pay stubs and other documents on an as-needed basis.

Q: How soon will I get the key to my dream house?

A: In today’s real estate market, bank short sales make up about 70 percent of the market. Bank short sales take an average of two to four months to provide you with an approval letter to proceed with the purchase of your dream home. Bank foreclosures will take an average of 30 to 45 days to get into. Discuss complications of bank short sale versus bank foreclosures with your real estate agent.

Any responsible loan officer or realtor will advise you to live within your means. Living large is no longer an option. We are driving smaller cars, conserving gas and being more conscious of environmental pollution. So it is only natural to live a financially responsible life. That is the new American dream.

Annie Christian is a real estate broker and owner of The Annie Christian Real Estate Group. She helps with everything from buying and selling to foreclosure and short sale. To submit a question, call 351-5117. Her website is
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Down payment assistance is not all gone by Annie Christian - Special to the Sparks Tribune

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