“Agency” mortgages are as available as ever, about 6.75 percent, finally showing signs of decline toward ultra-safe Treasurys. High-quality jumbos are available but pricey, about a half-percent above agency, low-doc underwriting scarce. Piggyback seconds and PMI are available for low-down borrowers, but full-doc only. Appraisal underwriting is ferocious, arbitrary and late in the process.

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