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Programs help renters buy homes with less cash

Posted: 5:51 AM, Apr 28, 2017
Updated: 2017-04-28 11:49:17-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Rent in San Diego is getting so high that thousands of locals could easily be paying off a mortgage instead.

The problem is many of them can't save enough cash for a down payment.

However, there are two reasons why those renters may be closer to buying a home than they think.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently revised their 3 to 5 percent down payment programs, a far cry from the 10 or 20 percent that seems unattainable for some San Diego renters.

The agencies let homebuyers use money from family and gifts to qualify. The programs are meant for low- to moderate-income earners but can be open to anyone, depending on the property's location.

Loan officer Mark Goldman, also a San Diego State real estate lecturer, said the two organizations have become more aggressive in promoting the programs.

Wesley Hardin, 21, is renting a room, but hopes to soon have his own apartment. Then, he'd likely be paying rents that Zillow says could double as a mortgage payment.

The real estate tracker says the median rent in San Diego is now about $2,500 a month, which could pay off a $511,000 home.

"Even just normal living with groceries and all that, it's pretty high priced around here," Hardin said.

Zillow says the median priced home in San Diego is $558,000.