A curated collection of reports, complete with summaries, from across the industry on the subjects you care about.

"Millions of Americans Have Used Risky Financing Arrangements to Buy Homes Article
Buyers and sellers

Why homebuyers choose alternative financing

Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts
Report date: April 2022

A survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts looks at why millions of Americans use alternative financing instead of traditional mortgages to buy homes. Pew includes seller-financed mortgages, personal property loans, lease purchase agreements and land contracts as alternative financing methods.


  • 1 in 5 homeowners, about 36 million Americans, have used alternative financing – most commonly personal property loans – at least once.

  • 22% of homebuyers who've used alternative financing have used two or more types.

  • Broken down by race and ethnicity, 34% of Hispanic borrowers have used alternative financing, followed by 23% of non-Hispanic Black borrowers and 19% of non-Hispanic white borrowers.

  • 23% of borrowers who use alternative financing earn less than $50,000 annually.

Get the latest real estate news delivered to your inbox.