First-time Homebuyers: You're Closer To A Down Payment Than You Think

For many first-time buyers, saving for a down payment is the most difficult step in the home-buying process. However, it's a common misconception that you always need 20 percent down to buy a home.

Here’s the lowdown on the most popular low-down alternative payment options:

FHA Loan

Traditionally the mortgage of choice for first-time buyers, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers government-insured loans with as little as 3.5 percent down. The most popular FHA loan option, the 203(b), is widely available from lenders across the country. You may qualify with a credit score of just 500, although there may be limitations on some condo purchases.

Home Possible from Freddie Mac

This program allows you to put between 3 and 5 percent down, as long as you intend to use the home as your primary residence, and don't currently own or share ownership of another house. You'll also need to complete a required homeownership education program online.

Conventional 97 from Fannie Mae

Just 3 percent down is enough to help you qualify for a Conventional 97, as long as you're applying for a fixed-rate mortgage on a single-family home that's less than $417,000. You'll also need to participate in a homeownership education program, and at least one of the purchasers applying for the loan must be a first-time buyer.

HomeReady from Fannie Mae

Another option that requires as little as 3 percent down, HomeReady can also offer below-market interest rates. Additionally, this program allows non-occupant borrowers to apply. For example, parents can secure this type of loan for a young adult who's just starting to establish credit.

To discuss the best option for you and to get a head start on your home search, contact me today!

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