You've seen the TV commentary and read the articles. After years of access to "easy money" for housing, the story goes, more homeowners are facing foreclosure, and many subprime lenders are scaling back their operations or going out of business entirely.

These reports — and the variety of mortgage products available — can be confusing for current homeowners and for those in the market. The bottom line is that, despite some volatility in today's mortgage lending industry, you still have a wide range of options, and your REALTOR® can point you in the right direction.

The National Association of REALTORS® has compiled a wealth of information to help you understand common mortgage structures and how to avoid predatory lending. Follow the links below to learn more.

Traditional Mortgages: Understanding your options.

With the rise of specialty (non-traditional) mortgage options, consumers have more choices than ever before when shopping for a mortgage. For most consumers, traditional fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) continue to be excellent options. (PDF brochure)

Specialty Mortgages: What are the risks and advantages?

A growing number of homebuyers are deciding to use one of several new types of specialty mortgages that let them “stretch” their income so they can qualify for a larger loan. (PDF brochure)

How to Avoid Predatory Lending

Finding an affordable home loan with fair terms and reasonable costs is a crucial step towards achieving homeownership. Unfortunately, home buyers need to be aware that some lenders offer predatory loans that take advantage of consumers. (PDF brochure)

Benefits of FHA Mortgages

FHA has made dramatic improvements to the application process for FHA-insured mortgages. The best features of FHA have been retained, such as more generous debt and payment to income ratios, low downpayment requirements, no prepayment penalties, and liberal treatment of credit history. (PDF brochure)