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Ask The Expert

Low Down Payment Options – First Time Homebuyers & Jumbo

By Wanda Norge

Still need down payment funds to quit paying rent or move to a bigger home? There are several options for those that have limited amount of funds to meet down payment requirements.

VA Loans

These are the BEST loans and one of my favorite loans to do. Qualifying veterans can get into a home with NO down payment.

Down Payment Assistance

There are several options to take home buying classes that will give clients access to down payment funds. The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) and Colorado Housing Assistance Corporation (CHAC) are two great options. You do not necessarily have to be a first time homebuyer. The drawback is that the interest rates are higher on these loans, but if you have no other means of getting down payment funds, it is a good stepping stone to home ownership.

Gift Funds

If a family member than can provide tax free gift funds for the down payment that can help avoid the higher interest rates of getting down payment assistance. The new rules for this include a signed gift letter (no repayment necessary), but also the paper or wire trail from the donor to the borrower or title company. That can include a copy of the check made out to the borrower on the loan, the donor’s bank statement with no black outs to show they had the funds to gift and the corresponding deposit into the borrowers bank account or wire to the title company. This sounds simple, but is probably one of the biggest challenges to get this documentation correct.


These conventional loans allow for 3 to 5 percent down, and can include flexibility for counting boarder income from a renter, non-occupant co-borrower options, or even counting wages from other household members not going on the loan. This is useful for qualifying retired home buyers on fixed incomes. They can use an adult child’s income to qualify if they can document a history of living together. These loans provide improved interest rate pricing compared to regular conventional loans. Some lenders will cover the appraisal fee up to $525.

High Balance Loan

For clients able to put 10 percent down and looking for loan amounts up to $679,650, there is a conventional loan with no Mortgage Insurance that is much less expensive than having to use a jumbo loan. Jumbo loans (loan amount greater than $453,100 for most counties) follow different underwriting rules and usually carry higher interest rates. Not all lenders offer this loan, so be sure to ask me about this one!

1st/2nd Combos

With 5 to 10 percent down, the option of doing a 1st and 2nd loan in order to avoid mortgage is an option.

All these options do have specific criteria for credit and income that need to be met.

Wanda Norge, Mortgage Consultant, Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP), Equilane Lending, LLC (NMLS: 387869), lending for 15 years. Phone: 303-419-6568,, NMLS:280102, MB:100018754

Wrecks On The Rec Paths

By Jimmy Vigil

We are truly blessed to have bicycle and pedestrian pathways throughout all the major cities and towns throughout our state. Unfortunately, every year on these pathways, serious and often tragic collisions occur, and innocent people are often the victims.

I have seen firsthand how collisions on pathways can turn a person’s life upside down. These crashes often occur when someone is traveling at an unreasonable speed and collides with another person on the path. We are very vulnerable on pathways, as we aren’t protected by an enclosure of steel like in a vehicle, and the injuries can be very, very extreme. In my experience, it is not that uncommon for victims of high-impact accidents to need lengthy therapy and/or surgery for their injuries and to also sustain permanent impairments and scarring.

Similarly to a car accident, if one does suffer from crash that wasn’t their own they can make a claim against the at-fault party. Oftentimes, the at-fault party’s homeowner’s insurance is required to step in and provide coverage to compensate you for your losses. Common losses from such accidents often include payment for economic losses such as medical expenses (which can get expensive due to therapy and/or surgery) and wage losses; payment for noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering; and finally payment for your physical impairments and scarring.

If you are injured or witness a serious injury from an accident on a path or trail, medical attention is the priority. It is important to obtain the name and any other identifiable information of the person who is believed to be at fault. If possible, get photographs, names and phone numbers of witnesses, and any other information which may be able to assist you later in proving your claim.

There are numerous city and county specific rules and regulations governing bicycle and pedestrian safety on these pathways. Most claims however will be made under the theory of negligence, again, making a claim very similar to that of a motor vehicle accident.

Remember, the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster will certainly try to resolve the claim for less than its true value or nothing at all. If you are injured or know someone who is injured on a pathway due to the fault of another, it is important to seek legal assistance to guide you in your claim to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to be considered legal advice and is not meant to be specific to your claim, case, or situation. Each case is different and if you do need legal advice, please call an attorney.

Jimmy Vigil is an attorney at Vigil & Alford, PLLC located in Edgewater. He can be reached at 303-756-9935.