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Mortgage and Lending Corportate NMLS#229844

The TBWS/NREP show quite a while back really slapped me in the face.  Us “mortgage folks” who are trying to help finance homes are asking ourselves… WHY ISN'T MY PHONE RINGING LIKE CRAZY RIGHT NOW???  Rates are at ALL TIME LOWS and Home Prices are back to what they were in 2002!  So WHY?

Frank and Gary made a point that there is a MISCONCEPTION by possible home buyers of what it takes to actually buy a home.  They pointed out that it’s possible that folks don’t understand the down- payment requirements for today’s loans.

This possibility inspired me to take a survey to ask “what do you think the minimum requirement from a potential home buyer is?”  I used a sample of current home owners and renters; from professions including Realtors, CPA’s, Financial Planners and Attorneys to other salespeople and some unemployed people.

  • Over 50% thought that a borrower needed over 10% down
  • About 15% of respondents thought a borrower needed AT LEAST 20% down
  • Less than 20% thought that a borrower needed 5% or less down

These answers made me feel like a FAILURE at getting the word out about my business!  Here’s part of a basic GRID that I give to agents when they start in the business and ask me about the loan process:


USDA-RD loans:  Property must be in a “rural area” as designated by RD and the borrowers are at/under the “low to moderate” income requirements... ZERO DOWN.

VA loans:  for a qualifying service member, veteran or surviving spouse… ZERO DOWN.

FHA loans:  no income restrictions and not just for “first time home-buyers”.  FHA requires 3.5% of the purchase price from the borrower BUT… all of this can be a GIFT from an interested party/family member.

CONVENTIONAL loans:   no income restrictions, not just for “first time home-buyers”.  These loans require 5% down and all of THAT can come in the form of a GIFT now too!

MHFA (MN Housin loans):   certain restrictions apply but these loans allow as little as $1000 of the borrower's own funds for a home purchase... anywhere in the MN Metro area.


The bottom line to this subject is:  borrowers need anywhere from ZERO to 3% down (and that can be a GIFT) to buy a home right now at LOW PRICES and the LOWEST RATES ever.   The “lowest rates ever” has been overused in the last couple years and it’s almost thought of as an ADVERTISING thing.

The focus for the public from us "mortgage guys" and Realtors needs to be:   


Don't be intimidated... take the time to contact me to go over your situation and I'll see what may work for you.   You may be really surprised.

Posted by


Steven Brand - NMLS#261849  - Hancock Mortgage  - 612.386.5306

Branch Manager / Strategic Mortgage Consultant  & VA Expert







John Manuwal
Keller Williams Northwest Montana - Kalispell, MT
Kalispell Montana Agent and Photographer

It's hard to convince people that they really can get into a home. The last USDA loan I did was great for my clients. Thanks

Jul 10, 2014 01:24 AM
Steven Brand
Woodbury, MN
NMLS# 261849

Thanks John.  I've been a huge fan of USDA loans for about 14 yrs now and surprisingly... they're one of the best performing loans as well. (very low default rate)

Jul 10, 2014 01:52 PM