Federal Housing Administration

VA lending turns in a record year

VA lending turns in a record year

If James Pickett had to come up with thousands of dollars for a down payment to buy a house, he'd still be renting.

But at age 50, Pickett was able to purchase his first home in December without any down payment. His family is now enjoying four bedrooms and a nice yard for the same monthly payment he previously paid for rent.

He's so delighted with his new home, he says he likes taking out the garbage — because he gazes at the house as he heads back inside. "I look back at the house, and the dog running around in the yard, and I think, this is a beautiful house. This is where I'll be long-term."

Pickett was able to afford his home on Chicago's South Side...