NBC 5 Responds

Crowdfunding a Home's Down Payment Now Possible

These new crowdfunding programs would eliminate some previous intrusive requirements.

Ashley Casey and Heather Jackson are getting married this fall.

They're on the hunt for a new home as they combine families.

Their must-have's mixed with North Texas' hot real estate market have been a struggle.

"You have all these down payment requirements, and you have to have 1 percent earnest money depending on what range you’re looking in, plus all the option fees, all of it adds up," Casey said.

They had to put their search on hold when they realized they just didn't have the cash.

Jonathan Lawless from government-sponsored Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae, says it's a huge problem, not just in North Texas.

"When we survey millennials the number one obstacle between them and owning a home is down payments," Lawless said.

Lawless says lenders have a new solution: crowdfunding.

Just like people ask others to gift them money for vacations or start up businesses, Fannie Mae is working with a lender to let you crowdfund your home's down payment.

Until now if someone gave you cash to help with a down payment they had to do it six months before you buy the home, write letters explaining the gifts and submit their bank records to show the path of the money.

These new programs would eliminate some of those intrusive requirements.

HomeFundMe lets anyone chip in cash to help couples like Ashley and Heather make their down payment bigger to get the house they really want.

There's also Loftium which will give you money for a down payment if you let them rent out a bedroom or mother in law suite on AirBnB to make the money back.

Ashley and Heather --- they had a tough call to make in their search, they had to take a break from house hunting and save.

With any deal you have to look at the contract carefully Loftium requires you to rent that room out, if you don’t then you have to pay back that money to the company.

HomeFundMe forces you to use one lender, and you might find better interest rates with another.

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