How much is enough for a down payment?
But when you’re paying high rent every month, paying for utilities, and cutting a stack of bills on top of that, it can seem impossible to save for a down payment on a house. And after months of giving up on lattes and daily takeouts, and cutting back on streaming services, you may have managed to eliminate a few thousand at best. But is that enough for a starting house?
The answer is yes and no. There are assistance options, including government programs that help with down payments. And some programs may let you skip down payments entirely, but not everyone is suitable. Here’s what the pros have to say about small down payments or even no installments.
Real estate agents usually don’t take care of the loan process. But most agents know of lenders who are experienced in helping borrowers who don’t have a lot of money for a down payment.
âThe best advice I can give is to get some recommendations for loan officers in your area,â says Nathan Perkins Jr., a Century 21 Envision agent in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. “Then ask each of them how much down payment you will need for pre-approval for a mortgage.
You will need to provide details about your income, debts, financial accounts, and work history to start the process. Then, after the pre-approval requests are processed, lenders should tell you which programs you are eligible for.
âThere might be a program that would even make a few thousand dollars for the down payment,â says Perkins.
What can be the amount of a deposit?
âWell, $ 3,000 isn’t enough for a down payment on most homes,â says Jill gonzalez, analyst at WalletHub. “The lowest percentage of down payment required is 3.5% for a FHA loan. So $ 3,000 would be enough for a loan of about $ 85,000, although this is well below the median price of a home today of $ 300,000.
Suppose you find a house for $ 85,000, congratulations! But let’s say you saved a few thousand dollars and found a more expensive house that would cost you less than 20% of the purchase price. In this case, keep in mind that borrowers who pay less than 20% usually have to pay private mortgage insurance, Where PMI. The PMI is in addition to the monthly home payment and typically ranges from 0.5% to 1% of your loan amount each year.
Loans without down payment
There is still hope if you don’t have enough money for a down payment. Some specialty loans do not charge a dime for eligible people, such as a Veterans Loan Where USDA loan, which is supported by the Guaranteed Housing Loans Program for Rural Development.
There are, however, a few issues. To be eligible for a VA loan, you must have served in the Army, National Guard, or Reserves, or be the spouse of a military member who died in the line of duty. For the USDA loan, you have to buy a house that the Rural development program is defined as rural, defined as “an open countryside and settlements with less than 2,500 inhabitants”. Yes, a rural property can be a farm. But it can also be a house in a city a few kilometers from a city.
The USDA loan program has other advantages as well.
âThe benefits of the government’s rural development program also allow flexible credit guidelines, low interest rates, closing costs, and lower monthly mortgage insurance, âsays Adam fuller, a senior loan officer at Mortgage 1 in Grand Rapids, MI.
State-specific programs for low down payments
What if you don’t qualify for a VA, FHA, or USDA loan? Many states have their own homeownership programs.
âWe often see first and second home buyers who can qualify for a variety of different options,â Fuller advises.
These programs help buyers get loans with down payment assistance, low down payments, and no. closing costs.
Some states also offer âspecialtyâ loans for disabled homebuyers, first responders, teachers, and more. Before contacting lenders, dig a little yourself by visiting your state’s housing and development authority website to see what type of programs they offer.
Don’t give up on your dream of home ownership
âIf you haven’t explored your options or spoken to someone who has experience in finance or real estate, you could be selling yourself short,â Fuller explains. “I once had a client who was literally shaking in my office because she was so worried about her credit rating, and three months later, we took out the loan on his first home.
Fuller recommends enrolling in home buying counseling programs in your community.
âIf you don’t know what’s holding you back, you’re already one step behind,â Fuller explains. “Speak with an expert is the best way to know what to do next.