Seth Neal || 208.515.2165 ||

Mortgage Options For Today’s Home Buyers

As a real estate agent I constantly get asked questions about specific neighborhoods lending options.

I shouldn’t be surprised, as I’ve talked about before, getting your finances lined up should be your first step in the home buying process!

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I’m not a licensed mortgage professional and thus really poorly equipped to help answer those specific questions you have about your options.

But I thought no one could get a loan?

Wrong. False. Couldn’t be farther from the truth. Honestly, there are lots of people getting loans. I know. I work with those people every day!!

And the crazy part is there’s never been a better time to get a loan! I’m not saying that as some sleazy sales man either! I mean, for real. Interest rates as low as 4%!! Lower in fact. And home prices are as low as they were in 2002! What more could you want?

Anyway, I asked Shanna of Benchmark Mortgage again about current loan options. In particular for those of you who are first time home buyers who might not know all the current options out there. Here’s what she had to say…

Q: Are there any zero down loans options for people anymore?

A: Contrary to many media reports, there are still some really amazing zero down options for qualifying borrowers. In Idaho there are three notable programs. The first is with Idaho Housing which offers a zero down loan program for borrowers with moderate income and fairly strong credit. The second is a zero down option through the USDA which allows home buyers with moderate income to purchase in designated rural areas (such as Kuna and Star). And the third is a VA loan which is a special program for qualifying veterans. As an added bonus, both the USDA and VA loan programs have fairly flexible credit guidelines making it relatively easy for home buyers to qualify!

Q: What if a buyer wants to buy a fixer; are there any options for them?

A: Yes, there are a number of special loan programs for that, but not all lenders offer them so they are not widely advertised. With flexible credit guidelines and down payments as low as 3.5%, the FHA 203(k) loan is a great way to purchase and renovate “fixer uppers”. The beauty of this program is that it allows buyers to finance most of the cost associated with buying and fixing up a home! In addition, HUD approved inspectors will identify critical repairs needed and the estimated renovation costs removing a lot of the guess work for the home buyer.

Q: There are more than a few bank owned properties on the market. Any good lending options for those?

A: It depends on who owns the home. Government owned homes have some special loan options. In fact, HUD homes can be obtained with as little as $100 down, which is nothing short of amazing. And Fannie Mae repos can be obtained with 3% down AND they waive the mortgage insurance requirement (a HUGE monthly savings)! These are both astounding loan programs compared to other options. However, not all “bank owned” homes are HUD or Fannie Mae, so you’ll want to look specifically for them if you’re interested.

Shanna Wroten-Tucker (NMLS 63357) and her husband, Dean Tucker (NMLS 103829) are Idaho licensed mortgage loan originators with Benchmark Mortgage (Ark-La-Tex Financial Services, LLC NMLS #2143.) Shanna has been  working with clients and real estate professionals in the Boise area since 1996.  Shanna has made notable contributions through articles and presentations on various subjects related to the mortgage and real estate industry.  Nothing herein is financial, accounting or legal advice. All loan programs are subject to change with out notice and nothing herein is a commitment to lend. Benchmark Mortgage is located at 2535 W State Street, Boise, Idaho 83702 and can be reached at (208) 388-0500 or on the web at

Seth Neal

Realtor and full-time Real Estate agent in Boise, ID! And by agent, I mean Real Estate Ninja. Basically I'll do things like return your phone call and not treat you like a jerk. Connect with me on Google+.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. San Ramon Homes

    I saw your site on This is an informative post and a great read for every body interested in buying or selling a home. I will like your post on Facebook.

    1. Seth Neal

      Hi Mona! Thanks! I appreciate you stopping by!

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