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Understanding Your Down Payment Options

You’ve found your home and now it’s time to think about your down payment.  Is 5% enough, or is 20% still the golden rule?

When it comes to down payments, it's important to know you have choices: 

  • With Freddie Mac's Home Possible AdvantageSM, qualified borrowers can make a down payment of as little as 3%
  • Typically buyers make down payments of 5 to 20% of the purchase price. Forty percent of today’s homebuyers are making down payments that are less than 10%.
  • If you make a down payment of less than 20%, you'll have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance each month until you build up 20% equity in your home.
  • Your down payment is based on a variety of factors and you should work closely with your lender to determine what is right for you. You may also want to ask your lender if they provide down payment insurance coverage to help protect you from risk of loss if your property value depreciates.

If you need help bridging a down payment gap, there are many down payment assistance programs that you may qualify for. Find out if you may be eligible.

Tip

Remember that there are other costs related to the purchase of a home, aside from the down payment.

In a recent study performed by Zelman & Associates, more than half of the respondents said they don't have the funds for a down payment. What's more, 40% of all respondents thought they had to put down at least 15%, and 15% thought they needed more than 20%. No wonder so many feel locked out of the market.

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