New York Times staffer Tara Siegel Bernard reports on a few new housing finance programs that have become available post-recession, as well as some older strategies that have been resurrected, including the piggyback loan.
Underlying the trend, Siegel Bernard notes, about 65% of all home buyers — or 1.9 million borrowers — put down less than 20% for their down payment, according to an analysis by Inside Mortgage Finance. She notes that loans backed by government sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration require mortgage interest insurance, which other lenders waive. Siegel Bernard writes:
A new program from Bank of America, in partnership with Freddie Mac and a group called Self-Help, avoids the insurance altogether, even though it permits down payments as low as 3 percent. But there are some significant limiting factors. Families in the New York area generally cannot earn more than $80,700, the area’s median income; the mortgage amount cannot exceed $417,000; and interest rates are marginally higher than those of traditional mortgages (but often better than other competing options).