Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

April 15, 2015

Reiss on FHA Mortgages for First Timers

By David Reiss

MainStreet quoted me in FHA Loans Can Be A Good Option for First-Time Homebuyers. It opens,

FHA loans can be an attractive option for consumers purchasing their first home, because they require much smaller down payments.

First-time homebuyers often consider these Federal Housing Administration loans, because they do not require a large down payment or high FICO scores unlike traditional 30-year fixed mortgages. Given that young households tend not to have the savings for a substantial down payment, they can be an attractive option, David Reiss, a law professor at Brooklyn Law School.

Because FHA loans are mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, this guarantee reduces the risk of “loss of principal for lenders, which is advantageous for borrowers,” said Joseph Cahoon, director of the Folsom Institute for Real Estate at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business School in Dallas.

This results in some consumers being able to put down as little as 3.5% for a down payment towards the purchase of a new home. For many first-time Millennial homebuyers, the prospect of saving 20% for a standard down payment has been challenging during the past several years because of a combination of low growth in wages and high student loan debt.

“For those borrowers with good credit, FHA insured loans offer a good pathway to home ownership, he said.

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“Homebuyers should compare all of their options before going with an FHA mortgage,” Reiss said.

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