HomeFundMe, Among Growing Services to Help Borrowers Buy Homes

Christina Rexrode and Laura Kusisto reported late last week at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Reese and Kyle Rademacher weren’t sure how they would afford a down payment to buy a home until their real-estate agent mentioned an offbeat idea: crowdfund the money from friends and family.

“Mrs. Rademacher, a 28-year-old construction technician, set up an online profile with a program called HomeFundMe to solicit donations. Her parents and a few others responded, and in March the Rademachers closed on a $320,000 home in Cheyenne, Wyo.

HomeFundMe, a service launched by lender CMG Financial last year, is among a growing suite of services that help borrowers cobble together the funds to buy homes. These companies — startups and established players in the housing market alike — say they’re offering options for borrowers who have good credit and income but are struggling to save.”

The Journal writers stated that, “Rising consumer debt and high prices have made it tough for first-time buyers to save for a home. Nearly 40% of renters ages 25 to 34 said they were saving nothing each month for a down payment, according to a survey last year by rental-listing company Apartment List.

“One startup, Loftium, will supply up to $50,000 for a down payment if the homebuyer agrees to rent out a room on Airbnb and share the income.”

Last week’s article added that, “About 400 borrowers have used HomeFundMe to help buy homes since the program launched in October. On average, they raise about $2,500, though CMG also can kick in matching grants, and most borrowers have some of their own money saved as well, said chief marketing officer Paul Akinmade. Friends and family can also make their gifts conditional, meaning borrowers won’t get the money unless they actually purchase the home.”

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