Over the past couple of weeks, Janna and I were given a hardcore beatdown in the housing market as we tried to figure out how, when, and where to finally buy our first home in Jersey City or New York City. We quickly found that an FHA loan — a Federally-sponsored mortgage program where you only have to put down 3.5% of the purchase price instead of the standard 20% — is but a dip in the yonder horizon: A great idea in theory, but an impossible dream in reality.
The 2008 housing crash ruined everything for the first-time home buyer. Nobody trusts anybody now. Everybody’s playing an angle. Everyone wants a quick and fast and dirty deal and nobody wants to deal with the red tape the FHA loans now require.
As one of Janna’s Black co-workers told her, “An FHA mortgage means to sellers and brokers that you’re Black and can’t afford a real down payment. They don’t want to deal with that. Try again later when you have more cash for 20% down.”