Gone are the days when anyone could buy a home with just a promise and signature. No documentation loans allowed virtually anyone to buy a house with no money down with just a simple credit check. After the mortgage melt down this all changed. Lenders tightened guidelines and down payments were back. But how much do you actually need? Must you always find 20% down? The answer might surprise you; there are many ways to buy a home with less than 20% down payment.
0% Down – There are still two loan programs which allow one to buy a home for no down payment, the VA loan and the USDA loan. The VA loan requires the borrower to be a qualified service person or veteran and the USDA loan is for certain areas under the Department of Agriculture.
5% Down – Conventional loans with loan limits can allow one to buy a home with as little as 5% down. These loans do have PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) which can be eliminated when the loan amount falls below the 20% threshold.
3½% Down – FHA offers first time home buyers a good home loan for only 3.5% down payment. Again these loans have loan limits and PMI but offer a faster entry into the housing market.
Buying a home doesn’t always mean 20% loan. If you’re considering buying a new home, talk to your lender about your options.