Real estate agents know more than most that millennials, ages 25 – 34, are having a tough time saving money for a down payment on a home. Why? Student debt, stagnating wages, rising home prices, rising interest rates on rising consumer debt, the list goes on and on for, according to Apartment List, a rental listing company, some 40% of all young adults have homeownership on their minds.

So what can you do to help your millennial real estate clients achieve their housing goals? Check out options such as HomeFundMe, Loptium and several banks that help borrowers with good credit and steady income streams who are struggling to save for a down payment on a home.

Loptium, operating only in Seattle at this time, supplies up to $50,000 for a down payment if the buyer agrees to rent out a room in the house via Airbnb and agrees to share the income from that rental with Loptium. Yfan Zhang, the founder of Loptium, launched this program with the intention of leveling the playing field among millennials who don’t have access to help from families for a down payment and millennials who do have access to family assistance.

The Unison Agreement Corporation recently launched a program offering “shared equity’ contracts. Buyers get money for a down payment in exchange for pledging part of the home’s future value to investors like pension funds or foundations.

Banks such as Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp., help millennial borrowers by offering mortgages with no down payments if their parents pledge investment assets to the banks for collateral.

Fannie Mae is also making “extra” efforts to help millennials. Focusing on making credit available AND on increasing housing supply, Jonathan Lawless, vice president for product development and affordable housing with Fannie Mae, tells us that Fannie is exploring ways to make it easier to obtain loans for the purpose of fixing up dilapidated homes and for simplifying the financing involved in the purchase of mobile homes. No specifics are yet available on either front at this time.

Saving the crowd-funding option for last, check out HomeFundMe. Launched in October 2017 by CMG Financial, a mortgage and banking firm, some 400 borrowers have used crowd-funding mindsets and tactics to generate funds from their friends, families and employers for the express purpose of being able to make a down payment on a house. People/employers gifting their friends, family members, employees can make gifts conditional…no money until the borrower actually purchases a home.

For employers, HomeFundMe is a benefit to offer employees, just as 401(K) programs, health insurance or paid time off are employee benefits. According to the president of CMG Financial, Chris George, “More than ever, employers are looking for ways to retain and attract the best and brightest talent. Millennials are looking for lifestyle perks that help them achieve their goals…”

Employers get customized crowd-funding portals from CMG Financial to help give their employees a path to homeownership and employees get a perk that helps them get what they want now, a house.

Borrowers who use CMG’s HomeFundMe get additional benefits…mortgage prequalification, fundraising coaching, homebuyer education and loan origination. Unlike other crowd-funding platforms, HomeFundMe users are not charged taxes, fees or fundraising concessions.

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