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Don't have $150,000 in cash lying around? Then chances
are your purchase of a home will depend on your ability to borrow 80 percent or more of the money you'll need.
Borrowing the norm
Before the 1929 stock market crash, cash purchases of homes were the norm. Or if money was borrowed it was on a term that typically didn't last much more than five years. That made payments relatively steep, which is part of the reason so many homes were lost in the Great Depression.
After World War II the U.S. government created a mortgage program that allowed veterans to make affordable payments over a 30-year period
Lots of choices
Today, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, while still the most common way to buy a home, is just one of many financing options available. Indeed, many mortgages today are almost custom-tailored to individual needs.
Mortgage lending is a highly competitive field. Information on mortgage rates, which can change daily, is available in local newspapers, through mortgage brokers and from individual lenders. When you're shopping for a loan, interest rates tell just part of the story. You'll also need to study the various fees lenders charge.
Ask your agent
Your real estate agent can recommend lenders to check in with prior to beginning any serious house hunting so you'll know exactly what you can afford.
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