While the cost of living has changed and the real estate market is constantly in flux, the 20 percent down payment needed to secure your dream home hasn’t changed. Nobody wants to be torn between the decision of blowing their savings on a down payment and losing the apartment they’ve always wanted in Chelsea or on the Upper West Side, and not all of us can be the dedicated savers we need to be in order to provide that lump sum of cash.

Fortunately, you have options. There are now more and more ways to jump over this hurdle as lenders are coming up with increasingly creative alternatives to the problem. In addition to SONYMA and FHA loans, which allow buyers that fall into a certain income bracket to buy at only three percent down, there has been a big change in the private sector with respect to the interest of lenders who can allow for up to 90 percent financing.

Depending on your income or your desired property’s value, some of these options may be a fit for you. Bank of America’s affordable mortgage program, while tied to income caps based on area medians, provides buyers with the opportunity to borrow for as low as three percent down. However, it is important to keep in mind that with options like these that allow for less money up front, interest rates tend to be higher so make sure you read the fine print!

Local credit unions offer more flexible options than larger lenders and may be more willing to work with you, looking at your specific situation and strengths as a buyer when making lending decisions. A final option is to find someone who fits the profile of a cash-rich, trusted friend or family member to co-purchase the property with you. By any means, don’t panic; there are more options out there than ever, and you will find one that will help you get one step closer to being a homeowner.