Eclectic Homes Harder to Finance

July 2, 2013

Oddball properties -- such as a domed house or a home designed to resemble a medieval castle -- can trip up buyers when they sit down to work out financing.  Unique architecture or unusual characteristics complicate the task of gauging market value, causing many lenders to back away from funding a buyer's purchase. 

Banks that do take on such properties may do so at a cost: a hefty down payment along with a reserve account.  Jumbo loan borrowers already are facing down payments of 20 percent to 45 percent of the purchase price, but they could have to pony up even more if the home has highly customized features.   On the plus side, the borrowers could end up with a lower interest rate in exchange for the bigger down payment.

Source: "Quirky Houses Can Make Lenders Nervous" MarketWatch (07/02/13) Martin, Anya

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