Lower down payments for first-timers
Fannie Mae has recently announced a program that allows first-time homebuyers to get a mortgage with as little as 3 percent down, instead of the usual minimum of 5 percent. The program is available through state housing finance agencies. At least one of the co-borrowers on the loan must be a first-time buyer.
Homeowners who wish to refinance, but don't have sufficient equity to refinance through other types of loans, can refinance up to 97 percent of their home's values. Buyers still have to meet Fannie's requirements to qualify for a loan, but the program may be helpful to buyers who have not managed to save enough for a down payment.
"They are trying to stimulate the market," Huff says. "I think it will help some borrowers, but it's not going to have a major impact on the market."