Home-Buying Help

Michael Sheehan

Physician's Money Digest, October31 2003, Volume 10, Issue 20

For many first-time homebuyers, thebiggest problem is coming up with thedown payment. If your children turn toyou for help and you're not able to givethem the cash they need, there are alternatives.The Federal Housing Administration(800-483-7342; www.hud.gov)offers low-interest, low-down-paymentloans. Ditto Fannie Mae (800-732-6643;www.fanniemae.com), which offers Flexloans, some of which don't require anydown payment at all. Other optionsinclude 80/20 loans, where the buyercombines a first mortgage for 80% of thehome's value with a second mortgage, ata higher interest rate, to cover the other20%. These loans are available fromlenders like Countrywide Home Loans(800-570-9888; www.countrywide.com)and National City Mortgage (800-523-8654; www.nationalcitymortgage.com).