Khristi Dixon
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How Much Do I Need

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The good news is that there are lots of folks out there who are very interested in lending you as much as 97%, sometimes even 100%, of the purchase price of your home, at very favorable interest rates. Furthermore, they are willing to spread out the payments over a long period of time so that you can afford the house you want. Home loans typically are offered in amounts of 80%, 90% and 95% of the price you are paying for the house. You are expected to pay the remaining amount in cash from your own funds.

The smaller the down payment, the greater the requirements are on a buyer’s financial condition. The reason a lender is willing to lend most of the value of the house is that history has shown real estate to be such an excellent investment. Lenders expect that the home will be worth more in the future than it is today - so their investment in your home is considered very safe.

That's also why the interest rate you can obtain on a home loan is one of the best around. Consider that America's largest and strongest corporations borrow at what is called the "prime rate," and that today you can borrow a home loan - fixed at the same rate for many years - at substantially less than the prime rate. Lenders have found that home loans tend to be excellent investments, and you benefit every month when you make your loan payment.

What if I don’t have enough for the down payment?

Today's homebuyers have more loan options. A homebuyer may have excellent credit and the ability to make the monthly mortgage payment, but not have the cash for the down payment. For this situation you could likely find a home in a USDA eligible area, be a veteran and obtain a VA loan which requires no down payment, or get down payment assistance from your lender.