In a July 24 "Real Estate Q&A;" item ("Rules for Determining What You Can Afford"), Robert J. Bruss over-generalized to the point of misleading the readers.
The writer states that his 10% down payment will be a gift from his parents. The loan product that is available for this type of transaction is very limited; most lenders require that a portion of the down be the buyer's own funds. For that reason this situation does not fall under any sort of "general rules" Bruss mentions.
To suggest avoiding mortgage brokers demonstrates Bruss' lack of understanding. A good mortgage broker will recognize a very specialized need in this case and know how to wade through the thousands of loans available in selecting what is most appropriate for the buyer.
A good mortgage broker would be able to predetermine how much home this buyer could afford, who has the type of loan needed and where they would most likely be approved.
The writer is a mortgage consultant.