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November/December 2008, 
Vol. 90, No. 6
Posted 2008-11-01

Mortgage Innovation, Mortgage Choice, and Housing Decisions

by Matthew S. Chambers, Carlos Garriga, and Don Schlagenhauf

This article examines some of the more recent mortgage products now available to borrowers. The authors describe how these products differ across important characteristics, such as the down payment requirement, repayment structure, and amortization schedule. The paper also presents a model with the potential to analyze the implications for various mortgage contracts for individual households, as well as to address many current housing market issues. In this paper, the authors use the model to examine the implications of alternative mortgages for homeownership. The authors use the model to show that interest rate–adjustable mortgages and combo loans can help explain the rise—and fall—in homeownership since 1994.