When we moved into our house a few years ago, one of the nice features was a 90 foot tall oak tree. It provided a lot of shade and fed countless gray squirrels with its abundance of acorns. After we had been there a couple of years, there was a storm that caused a large limb to fall between our house and our neighbor's. Fortunately, there was no roof damage to either house. But, sadly this tree had some rot and the rest of it had to be taken down. It completely changed the character of that side of the house. Hot summer days were pretty hard to avoid in that section of the house which previously had been isolated by the massive shade provided by the oak tree. It was irreplaceable.
Now, it is 5 years later. Acorns which had lain dormant had sprouted new oak trees. With no large tree to shade them from the sunlight, they have grown rapidly and have formed a couple of small groves that now contain 5-6 new trees which are at least 20 feet tall. The area around the stump contains a flower garden which was not possible with the 90 foot sentinel standing guard. The shade being cast by the replacements is starting to take form. Within 5 years, I suspect there will be a new group of gray squirrels taking delight in a bounty of acorns.
These trees were always ready when needed. And it is a great illustration of what we are seeing in the mortgage industry. Many mortgage officers thought that certain programs were like that 90 foot oak tree--irreplaceable. NINA loans, subprime loans, Option ARMs, My Community and so many others that are existent in memory only, but like that oak tree, had some rot and had to be taken down. The FHA acorn, which had been dormant for the last 5 years or so, has begun to sprout and is not only taking the place of many programs mentioned above, but also for the conventional loans with PMI with more restrictive guidelines. Once a major part of the lending landscape, it was reduced to a minor role until recently. The programs that many thought were indispensible are now examples that anything can be replaced.