The Big Down Payment Myth

39 percent of non-owners say they believe they need more than 20 percent for a down payment on a home purchase. Twenty-six percent believe they need to put down 15 to 20 percent, and 22 percent say they need a down payment of 10 percent to 14 percent to buy, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2017 Aspiring Home Buyers Profile report.

But now for the reality: The average down payment on a purchase mortgage was just 11 percent in 2016. And that’s just the average; often times down payments are much lower. For borrowers under the age of 35, the average down payment was just under 8 percent, according to NAR’s survey.

There are many mortgage options that offer the opportunity to make low or even no down payments. For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture offer no-money down loans to those who are eligible. In 2016, 16 percent of buyers under the age of 35 put no money down on their home purchase.

Further, the largest share of loans for buyers under age 35 last year were for people putting down less than 5 percent on a home purchase (or about $3,500). The 3 percent down payment programs backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the 3.5 percent FHA mortgage that primarily targets first-time buyers, are both helpful programs to consider. These loan programs don’t require unblemished credit either. Please contact us for more details (no obligation).

Source: “Attention First-Time Buyers: Here’s the Key Stuff You Don’t Know About Mortgages,” realtor.com® (Feb. 9, 2017)

87% of Homes Qualify for ‘Down Payment Aid’

More prospective home buyers would likely qualify for down payment assistance than they think. Indeed, more than 68 million single-family and condo households – or about 87 percent — would qualify for a down payment program available in the county where they are located, according to a new study by Down Payment Resource and RealtyTrac in an analysis that included a look at nearly 2,300 down payment programs nationwide.

“Many homebuyers, especially Millennials, haven’t fully investigated their home financing options because they are pessimistic about qualifying for a mortgage,” says Rob Chrane, president and CEO of Down Payment Resource. “Our Homeownership Program Index highlights the wide range and availability of down payment programs available to today’s homebuyers. In fact, 91 percent of the 2,290 programs in our registry have funds available to lend to eligible buyers. Plus, income limits vary depending on the market and programs extend beyond just first-time homebuyers. It’s important for buyers to research down payment programs as part of their loan shopping process.”

For a view of available down payment programs by area, visit downpaymentresource.com.

Source: “87 Percent of U.S. Homes Qualify for Down Payment Help According to RealtyTrac and Down Payment Resource Analysis,” RealtyTrac (Feb. 3, 2015)