Overwhelmed at the prospect of buying a home?  You are not alone. 

Homeownership may seem out of reach, but in fact, there is an entire mortgage buffet available, designed to sate the most persnickety palates – a virtual smortgagebord of loan options.  

What are all the menu options you ask?  Let’s dig in and find out.


Conventional Loans

Conventional Loans, the meat and potatoes of mortgages, has traditionally been the standard used for purchasing a home.  Historically it required a 20% down payment and more stringent financial requirements (…and sometimes a spare kidney). But conventional Mortgages have gone through many transformations over the years. 

Today’s options allow as little as 3% down and offer additional incentives like reduced mortgage insurance for borrowers with less income.  What this means for you: lower upfront costs, as well as lower payments.   


FHA Loans

FHA Loans, the bread and butter of today’s mortgage options, avail this American Dream to those of us with a checkered or challenging financial history. 

With a 3.5% down payment and accepted credit scores below Conventional requirements, FHA is an achievable and affordable choice. 

Having flawless credit is uncommon.  Job loss, illness, even forgetfulness can lead to missed payments, collections, or bankruptcy.  FHA provides a way to purchase a home after credit has been damaged.  Reestablishing credit takes time, but with demonstrated progress and renewed financial stability, FHA makes homeownership a reality. 


VA Loans

VA Loans, the cream of the crop of mortgage options, are simply an incredible program for our Veterans. 

The VA’s goal with this loan is to make it possible for all our Veterans to achieve home ownership.  The underwriting guidelines are unique, with more understanding and flexibility.  Credit scores and derogatory history do not automatically prevent approval with the VA.  The Lender providing the VA loan may have score requirements, but even then, there is a greater tolerance for lower credit scores. 

With the addition of 0% down, and no monthly mortgage insurance, this loan is a worthy option for the brave and honorable protectors of our country.


USDA Loans

USDA Loans might just be the greatest thing since sliced bread. 

Another 0% down option, this mortgage is available if you live in more rural areas.  That doesn’t mean the closest town has to be 200 miles away, either.  There are lots of eligible locations 30 miles from major cities. 

If the home of your dreams is in a USDA eligible area, not only will you benefit with 0% down, you will also enjoy lower payments. 

USDA’s monthly fee (much like mortgage insurance with Conventional or FHA loans), can be far less expensive than with a Conventional or FHA loan.  Additionally, tax rates are often less expensive when living in rural areas.  The result – savings up front as well as every month! 


Down Payment Assistance Loans

Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Programs, this is where you can have your cake and eat it too!  There are numerous Local and State programs, that offer down payment assistance for qualified borrowers.  The programs vary by location, as well as eligibility.  A few examples:

  • Homes for Heroes – down payment assistance provided to our Teachers, Firefighter, Law Enforcement, Military, and Healthcare Professionals.
  • Good Neighbor Next Door – HUD owned homes priced at a significant discount for Teachers, Firefighter, Law Enforcement, and EMT’s.
  • Home Finance Agencies (HFA) are State chartered down payment assistance and affordable housing programs. 

With many more DPA programs available, it’s always best to contact a local mortgage professional in your area. 


As you can see, the smortgagebord of options makes homownership no longer a pie in the sky dream, instead providing you with the tools and options that best meets your needs.

At Landis, we help our clients navigate the homeownership process, coaching you to the mortgage which is right for you. Get in touch to see how we can help!



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