The Down-Low on Down Payments
A home mortgage is often the biggest financial investment you’ll make in your lifetime, so it’s not surprising that saving for a down payment can be a major hurdle for people on their journey to home ownership. While a 20 percent down payment is considered ideal, it’s not actually as common as you might think, nor is it a necessity to buying a home.
2018 Down Payment Stats
According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018, a majority of 52 percent of buyers put down less than 20 percent on their new home. Additionally, 23 percent of buyers put down exactly 20 percent, and another 20 percent put more than 20 percent down. When you break the stats down by age group, younger buyers put down less than older buyers: 60 percent of Millennials put down less than 20 percent for their down payment, compared with 48 percent of Gen Xers, 43 percent of Boomers and 38 percent of Silent Gen buyers.
Why 20 Percent is Considered Ideal
While not a necessity, a 20 percent down payment will provide buyers with quite a few benefits including avoiding private mortgage insurance (PMI), qualifying for a lower interest rate, and resulting in smaller monthly mortgage payments. Depending on where you’re looking to buy a home, a larger down payment can make you a more competitive buyer and stand out to the seller if inventory is low and there are multiple offers on the home you’re eyeing.
Loans Options for Small Down Payments
It’s important to know that you have a variety of down payment options. For qualifying buyers, lenders can offer mortgage options with 10% or 5% down if you’re willing to pay the monthly PMI cost. You can even skip the conventional loan and go for a Federal Housing Administration or FHA loan with only 3.5% down if you qualify. If you choose to buy in a more rural area, you might be eligible for a USDA loan, which requires no down payment. And if you have served in the military, you have a 0% down payment option with a VA loan.
Plenty of myths and misconceptions about down payments as well as the whole mortgage process exist in the mortgage industry. Knowing your options and your financial situation will give you a good start in deciding how much money to put down. Finding a knowledgeable Loan Officer helps, too! If you are looking at buying, contact us today and we will get you moving on your home ownership journey!
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