Great news for first time buyers . . . Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced 3% down loan programs for home purchases. Low down payment programs won't mean we'll be seeing a wave of foreclosures and short sales again . . . buyers will need to document their creditworthiness and meet lender elegibility, underwriting, income and risk management standards. For the past several years many qualified buyers have been unable to purchase a home because of higher down payment requirements. Nationally rents have increased over 14% in the past 5 years, closer to 20% in the Seattle/Bellevue area. Purchasing a condo or house can make more economic sense and provide more housing cost stability. Combined with historically low interest rates, this will give qualified borrowers the ability to own a home. This should be a win-win for everyone.