Some lenders require 20 percent of the home’s purchase price as a down payment.
However, many lenders now offer loans that require less than 20 percent down, sometimes as little as 5 percent on conventional loans. Conventional loans are mortgage loans other than those insured or guaranteed by a government agency.
If a 20 percent down payment is not made, lenders usually require the home buyer to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI) to protect the lender in case the home buyer fails to pay.
Here’s something to keep in mind. When government-assisted programs such as FHA (Federal Housing Administration), VA (Veterans Administration), or Rural Development Services are available, the down payment requirements may be substantially smaller.
Basic Loan Questions
- Ask about the lender’s requirements for a down payment, including what you need to do to verify that funds for your down payment are available
- Ask your lender about special programs it may offer.
If PMI is required for your loan
- Ask what the total cost of the insurance will be
- Ask how much your monthly payment will be when including the PMI premium
- Ask how long you will be required to carry PMI
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