ORLANDO, Fla. - Feb. 9, 2009 - Buying a house doesn't necessarily require getting a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. More and more people are exploring alternative financing plans as it gets harder to get a conventional bank loan.
Here are some creative ways to pay for a home, according to some financial experts:
· Securities-backed loans. The lender gives the borrower 80 percent of the value of his stock portfolio. Then the lender holds the stock for between three and 10 years while charging a 3 percent to 5 percent interest on the loan. At the end, the borrower gets his original shares back. Both win if the stock has increased in value.
· Two-step mortgages. This fixed rate mortgage is amortized over 40 years, but the payment schedule is adjustable.
· Constant-amortization mortgage. Buyers start with a higher payment, but the loan is constantly re-amortized, so principal is reduced faster than with a conventional loan.
· Family loans. In the most successful arrangements, the family puts the agreement in writing and the lender charges the borrower a rate of interest high enough to pass IRS scrutiny, thus avoiding any gift tax.
· Assuming a mortgage. Buyers interested in purchasing a house in the pre-foreclosure stage might ask the lender if they can assume the mortgage. In some circumstances this can be a good deal.