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SF Real Estate Blog Readers Ask: Is a 10% Downpayment Still a Fantasy?

A reader of this here San Francisco Real Estate Blog wrote in and asked:

“Have you heard any updates on the 10% down payments?  Is it still pretty much impossible for me to buy without a hard money loan?”
Being that my expertise lies in helping you buy your home and not finance it, I turned to Marc Geshekter with Residential Pacific Mortgage for an answer. 
Marc says:
“Lenders are offering the 10% down program, but mortgage insurance (MI) companies are not insuring loans over $417k with less than 15% down.  The only 10% down program that is insurable with MI is for a loan amount of $417k which backs into a purchase price of $463,333.  Not sure what’s available in the city for that price.

The only other 10% down option is if the borrower finds a private money 2nd (not impossible…) or the seller carries back the additional 10% on the sale which really only works if the seller is highly motivated and there’s no other offers.
Wish I had better news.  Its a 20% down market these days.”
So, Marc didn’t bring us good news, but it’s nice to have a reality check.  There are, of course, some other options, including FHA loans, and of course, the private money 2nd option.  If you are looking to buy and have just 10% down, contact me and we can explore your options and whether we can get creative to make something work, or whether you need to work a little harder to make your homeownership dreams come true.