As home buyers, fewer than one out of 20 US families would qualify today for a bank loan on a medium-priced house, Coffee points out; hence the emergence of alternatives to the traditional fixed-rate/level-payment mortgage. Unlike Douglas Temple's similarly titled Creative Home Financing (p. 724), which surveys the purchasing process from initial search through occupancy, Temple focuses on the fiscal facts--and on the young and upwardly mobile. Prospective purchasers should not shortchange themselves, he advises, by allocating shelter outlays on the basis of take-home pay; generous tax breaks and non-traditional financing justify a new math which he persuasively documents with tables showing ""true mortgage costs"" for different income brackets over varying periods of time. Then, after a brief look at standard mortgages for comparison purposes, Coffee explores the unfamiliar likes of adjustable-rate, graduated payment, growth-equity, pledged-account, renegotiable-rate, shared-appreciation, and variable-rate mortgages. Using case studies, he carefully notes the drawbacks and advantages of each. Also set forth are novel acquisition techniques--land contracts, wraparounds, rental deals with purchase options--that entail the cooperation of ""motivated sellers."" Finally, there is brief attention to co-purchases (with details for once-odd couples), builder buy-downs (potential savings from price wars among contractors), and cut-rate financing sources. Authoritative and encouraging.