I had the pleasure of closing a purchase transaction last month with clients who obtained an FHA loan. These loans involve the Federal Housing Administration, and they are geared toward first-time home buyers.
The big deal about FHA loans is that you can have a minimum of 3% down payment (though the minimum increases to 3.5% after September 30, 2008). You can purchase a single-family home with a loan amount max of $729,750 (this decreases to $625,500 after January 1, 2009); credit scores have to be in the 580-620 range as a minimum. There are FHA loans available for 2-4 units, as well as for condos. Requirements vary on these types of properties.
I worked with Sue Ballinger at Guarantee Mortgage on the FHA transaction last month, and have to give her kudos in getting this loan done.