A veteran can buy a house with nothing down through a VA home loan, as can members of some chartered pension funds.
Occasionally, a builder will offer no-down-payment loans to induce sales in an otherwise slow-moving new home development.
Desperate sellers will also promise to finance the down payment to get out from under a property. (See>> Real Estate Guide: Seller Financing.)
The seller (or another person), in a slow market, may opt to become an 'investor' paying all of the down payment for a buyer who then lives in the home and pays the mortgage, taxes, insurance, and maintains the property. The buyer and seller are thus co-owners in what is called an Equity Sharing Agreement, and share in any profit or loss on the ultimate sale of the home. (see below)
Both Occupier and Investor agree to a termination date for the equity sharing agreement (usually 3 to 10 years). Before the termination date one of the following must occur:
First-time buyers are the most interested in TIC arrangements because it gives them a way to buy property collectively with an unrelated partner. Loan underwriting standards are more complicated in TIC deals because lenders have more than one party's financial situation to assess. But many standard loan programs do apply.