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REThink Real Estate

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Q: Over the last 18 months or so, I've been anxiously watching the TV and Internet news document the decline of home values. Now that it's finally a buyer's market, I feel like it would be a good time for me to buy, but my mortgage broker just told me that there are no more 100 percent financing options -- I would have to come up with a 5 or 10 percent down payment in order to buy a home now. What good does it do to have a buyer's market if you have to have a huge amount of savings in order to buy? A: Current market dynamics are very frustrating in that they seem to present a Catch-22. For the first time in years, buyers have many more homes to choose from, favorable interest rates and superior negotiating power vis-à-vis sellers. Simultaneously, though, the subprime mortgage market debacle has resulted in a virtual desert of low- and no-down-payment options. Many buyers who were waiting to buy have been devastated to realize that 100 percent financing is simply not avail...