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Debunking Down Payment Myths

Embarking on the journey to homeownership can seem daunting, particularly when it comes to saving for the down payment on your first home. The prevailing notion that you need to squirrel away a whopping 20% of the home's price for this purpose might have left you feeling discouraged. But guess what? It's time to debunk this myth.

Contrary to popular belief, putting down 20% is not always a requirement, unless specifically mandated by your loan type or lender. This means you might be closer to achieving your homeownership dream than you think.

The Mortgage Reports highlights this misconception, stating, "Although putting down 20% to avoid mortgage insurance is wise if affordable, it’s a myth that this is always necessary. In fact, most people opt for a much lower down payment."

Statistics from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shed further light on this. Since 2005, the median down payment has not exceeded 20%. Presently, it stands at 15% for all homebuyers and even lower at 8% for first-time buyers.

The key takeaway? You might not need to stash away as much cash as initially presumed.

Exploring Available Resources

Down Payment Resource reveals an encouraging fact: there are over 2,000 homebuyer assistance programs across the U.S., many of which are designed to aid with down payments. Additionally, various loan options exist to ease the burden. For instance, FHA loans offer down payments as low as 3.5%, while VA and USDA loans require no down payment for eligible applicants.

Navigating this landscape of assistance programs and loan options is best done with the guidance of a knowledgeable loan officer or broker. They are well-versed in local grants and loan programs that could provide a helping hand.

Dispelling the 20% Myth

Don't allow the misconception that you need to save 20% to deter you from pursuing homeownership. Waiting until you've amassed this hefty sum could prove costly in the long run. As U.S. Bank notes, "there are plenty of reasons why it might not be possible. For some, waiting to save up 20% for a down payment may 'cost' too much time."

Furthermore, home prices are anticipated to continue appreciating over the next five years. Delaying your purchase could mean paying a higher price for your future home. By leveraging available resources to buy now, you stand to benefit from the subsequent price growth, allowing you to build equity instead of spending more.

Remember, you don't always need a 20% down payment to make your homeownership dreams a reality. If you're considering making a move this year, don't hesitate to reach out to a trusted real estate professional. They can help kickstart the conversation about your homebuying goals and steer you toward the resources that align with your needs.


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