Friendly reminder: You still don’t need 20% to buy
Of all the steps to buying a house, the biggest hurdle renters face right now is trying to save up for a down payment. Rising rents make this even harder, eating into any cash renters might have left over for savings at the end of the month.
According to the Urban Institute’s 2018 Barriers to Accessing Homeownership study, commissioned with the Down Payment Resource and Freddie Mac, 39 percent of non-owners and 30 percent of homeowners believe that more than a 20-percent down payment is needed to buy. There was a surprisingly low number of people who knew about low-down-payment mortgage programs. Only 12 percent of non-owners and 13 percent of homeowners had heard about these affordable mortgages that require less than 5 percent down.
Getting prequalified will tell you how much house you can afford: It’s free, it’s fast, it’s easy.
A 2018 Convergys Analytics study showed similar sentiments, finding that 49 percent of renters believed they needed a minimum of a 20-percent down payment.
But the median down payment for approved home loans was only 5 percent in 2018.* This means that the many renters who’ve been waiting until they have 20-percent down could have more than enough saved by now.
Here’s what to remember about the steps to buying a house:
- One of the simplest and most effective ways to save for a house without putting too much thought into it is to set up an automatic savings plan, setting aside a small amount from every paycheck.
- Sticking to a budget now can make it easier to save up for a down payment, while also paying off other high-interest debt to make your credit score more attractive.
- A good question to ask is: What are you willing to temporarily give up to turn your homeownership dreams into a reality?
You’re one step closer to home
Now that the 20-percent down payment “rule” is no longer the norm, many borrowers are cutting their down payment savings time dramatically. They’re using low and no-down-payment mortgage programs to get home fast — in as few as 10 days — and you can do the same thing. Download LoanFly to get in touch with a local loan officer, get prequalified, and get one of the most important steps toward homeownership complete.
For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
*”One More Time… You Do Not Need 20% Down To Buy A Home.” Keeping Current Matters, Feb. 2019.