Home loans take some new twists

Confronted by a nationwide slump in home sales, the real estate industry grimly warns that soon Realtors could be closing their doors as quickly as auto dealers.

But the real estate industry is taking action to correct the slump. Its answer: "creative financing."

The new labels cover a variety of incentives for home buyers. The common ingredient is some formula to offset mortgage interest rates that can range up to 18 percent.

National Association of Realtors president Ralph W. Pritchard says that creative financing has helped avoid a far more serious situation in the housing industry.

The Employee Transfer Corporation (ETC), an affiliate of Chicago Title Insurance Company is taking some particularly adventurous steps to sell its homes.

One is a new information service provided to its more than 200 corporate clients and others. By providing detailed figures on housing and living costs in specific areas, ETC feels that it can help overcome some of the uncertainty that discourages prospective buyers.

ETC also offers programs to help combat high mortgate payments. Under one plan, ETC pays part of the mortgage interest for up to two years. Under another plan, a buyer in effect rents from ETC for up to a year.

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