The next step is to make a list of your assets. This should include cash, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, and anything else of value. If you are a collector, could you convert your collection into cash? Would you be willing to sell it off to help buy a home? If your assets are substantial, they may serve as a basis for setting loan approval.
If you have been putting your money into the stock market for several years and have an extensive portfolio, you may want to check with some stockbrokers about a mortgage. Some brokerage houses are starting to offer mortgage loans up to 100% if you pledge your stock portfolio as security. This is a specialized area for those who truly believe that the market is the place to invest and have put most of their available cash into it. The value of your portfolio must be substantial. If you have over $100,000 in stocks, you can give it a try, but more is usually required. (Charles Schwab Bank, for example, currently requires a minimum of $1,000,000.) Remember that Wall Street is very competitive. Switching your account to a new brokerage may give you a better deal than dealing with your current brokerage.
The advantage to this type of borrowing is that you get to keep your stock. The disadvantage is that you may lose some control. The brokerage is not going to let you sell off your blue chips and buy high-risk shares. The same possibility exists with CDs. You may be able to pledge them as part or all of your down payment. Check with your bank. The difference between stocks and CDs is that a good stock has a chance to increase in value well beyond your interest rate on the mortgage. CDs will always be paying less than your mortgage interest rate on adjustable loans, unless rates rise beyond the cap on your ARM. That would normally require a huge jump in rates. The same applies for a fixed rate loan.
The best way to use this option is if you have long-term CDs with a penalty for early withdrawal. You can use them to pay down your loan when they mature. Weigh the costs of the additional interest and possibly a higher interest rate against the cost of the penalty.
Note: If a gift letter is a sure thing, count it as part of your assets.
The important thing about your assets is to be realistic. Do not count on your stock going up when you need the cash or getting the highest possible price for your baseball card collection.