It looks like FHA is planning to beef up its falling reserves by requiring borrowers to come up with a bigger down payment. Can you see your home ownership dream fading away? Well, don't let it! Yes, FHA is likely to require 5% down instead of 3.5% in the near future. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovon says that's a virtual certainty. But what about deserving sorts who really need some help? What if you know you could pay your mortgage but could never save a down payment while paying rent and other obligations? Is there hope for you?

Featured Home Equity Loan Provider
    • Get your Free Quote in Minutes!
    • Lenders Compete for your Business
    • Lock in a Low Fixed Rate Before Rates Increase!
    • Do you have the Lowest Rate Possible? Find Out Instantly!

Yes, Virginia, there is a down payment assistance program. Many state, local, and charity-based programs exist to provide down payment help to those who meet income or other guidelines. And HUD's Web site has links to all of them.

Home ownership assistance takes many forms. Some organizations offer interest-free loans for your down payment, and some of these don't have to be repaid until you sell your home. Others offer grants, or subsidize your mortgage interest, or help you with closing costs. If you are a member of certain professions, like teachers, first responders, or nurses, your state may have special home ownership assistance for you. And HUD offers the Good Neighbor Next Door plan, which allows you to purchase a HUD home with a 50% discount and only $100 down!

USDA loans can finance 100% of your purchase price, if you live in a designated "rural development" area.

What today's FHA changes mean is that you will have to do more homework and jump through more hoops to get into your first home. But the resources are still there. So, buying your first home won't be as easy as it used to be. But it won't be impossible either.