A few days ago we told the story of Denise Tejada, the 21 year old California woman who bought a house with an FHA backed loan with almost no money down.
Readers were outraged.
And rightfully so. It’s our money on the line and it is simply outrageous that our government is still encouraging these kind of loans to be made. Even if Tejada pays off her loan in full, it was an insane gamble on our behalf to have the government back her loan.
But as it turns out, the gamble was even more insane that we originally reported.
Scott Jagow, who writes the Scratch Pad blog for American Public Radio’s Market Place, explains:
Denise got an FHA loan to buy her home for $155,000. She took out a second loan (called a 203-K loan) to refurbish the place. The total loan amount is about $183,000. She says, “In total, I gave the bank $5,087 + $1,500 which were all deposit and closing costs.”
So her “down payment” was no more than 4% of the value of the home when she bought it. She will get all of that back and then some with the first-time home buyer tax credit.
In other words, thanks to the various government tax breaks, Denise put absolutely no money down on her home. If she has to default on her mortgage, she’ll lose nothing except her credit rating. Of course, since she’s only 21 years old, there’s plenty of time to recover from that.
How is the FHA still engaged in promoting this kind of lending? Barney Frank has explained that expanding home ownership is the policy of the United States. Now, more than ever, the government wants to promote home buying to prop up the great American home ownership scheme. If people like Tejada can’t buy a home with no money down, then the recession wins.
Don’t you feel awesome for helping Tejada achieve the American dream?