A Washington Post article reprinted in yesterday’s Globe reported that the Obama administration and federal regulators are proposing that federally backed mortgages in the future only be granted to borrowers who are able to make a down payment of 20% of the purchase price. With the median US house price of $170,000, that means the new buyer would need $34,000 in cash to contribute to the purchase plus more for the closing costs. Given the economic realities of today, few young people will be able to afford to purchase a home until they are no longer very young. 20% may have been the norm many years ago, but recently down payments in the 5% range have been the norm. While low down payments undoubtedly played their role in our current real estate and financial problems other issues – reckless lending, no underwriting, a lack of regulation – all had much more to do with it and little has been done to remedy those flaws in the system.