Source: The Houston Chronicle
For five years after moving to Houston, Pakistani immigrant Abdul-Jabbar Khan rented an apartment even though he had saved enough money to make a down payment on a house.
The 43-year-old kidney specialist at Methodist Hospital is a devout Muslim, and worried that a conventional mortgage would violate his faith’s prohibition against paying interest on loans.
“For a long time I kept on saving money,” Khan said. “I kept thinking I would buy a house with cash, but it just never happened.”
The doctor feels like he found the literal answer to his prayers in the form of a “lease to own” agreement from American Finance House Lariba of Pasadena, Calif., one of a handful of Islamic mortgage companies in the U.S.
“It made me more comfortable,” said Khan, who financed a four-bedroom house near Rice University with Lariba. “I was happy to pay even more because I was abiding by the rules of Islam, but it turned out to be comparable.”
At a time when most of the mortgage industry is still reeling from the real estate crisis, alternative home financing arrangements designed to adhere to Islamic principles are thriving.