It’s long been suggested that one should put down at least 20% of the purchase price as down payment. While this is probably a good idea if you can afford it, many people have taken this advice a bit too much to heart, and are reluctant to try to buy with a lower down payment amount. A third of homebuyers even think it’s a requirement to get a loan.
In reality, most loans have a much lower minimum down payment, with one of the most common types — FHA loans — having a minimum of just 3.5%. Some even have no minimum. In addition, the median down payment is significantly less than 20% for first-time homebuyers at 7%. It’s higher for repeat buyers at 17%, but that’s still under 20%. What’s more, there’s a good chance you can get homebuyer assistance to help cover the down payment. While a majority of homebuyer assistance programs are specific to first-time homebuyers, over a third of the approximately two thousand programs do not have this restriction.