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3% Down Conventional Loans Are Here

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that first time homebuyers can now in fact put as little as 3% down and get conventional financing (no longer confined to the FHA only box). There are no prohibitive restrictions; in fact if two people are buying a home, only one of them need be a first time buyer. Standard FannieMae underwriting guidelines and standard PMI coverage and costs apply. This is a significant mortgage financing event and should bring more first time buyers into the active homebuyers’ pool.
 
Freddie Mac launched Home Possible Advantage, a conventional mortgage with a 3 percent down-payment requirement geared to low- and moderate-income borrowers. It's a conforming conventional mortgage with a maximum loan-to-value ratio of 97 percent. To qualify, first-time homebuyers are required to participate in a borrower education program.
 
With Fannie Mae's 3 percent down-payment offering, borrowers must still meet standard eligibility requirements, including underwriting, income documentation, and risk management standards. Any buyer can take advantage of Fannie's loans as long as at least one co-borrower is a first-time buyer. The loans will require private mortgage insurance.
 
Up until now, first time homebuyers with a limited down payment primarily had the ... more

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