When buying a home, the down payment is often seen as a major hurdle – and a source of numerous misconceptions. Many would-be homeowners find themselves mired in myths about down payments, leading to hesitation and confusion.


In this post, we're setting the record straight by debunking some of the most common myths surrounding down payments. Let's dive into the facts and clear up the fiction.


Myth 1: You Need a 20% Down Payment


The Reality: This is one of the most pervasive myths. While a 20% down payment can help you avoid paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and might secure better interest rates, it's not a universal requirement. Many loan programs, like FHA loans, allow down payments as low as 3.5%. USDA or VA loans offer zero down payment options for eligible rural properties and eligible veterans/service members.


Myth 2: A Bigger Down Payment Always Equals a Better Mortgage


The Reality: A larger down payment can lead to lower monthly payments and less interest over the life of the loan. However, depleting your savings for a massive down payment isn't always the best financial strategy. Balancing your down payment with other financial goals, like an emergency fund, is essential.


Myth 3: Down Payments Are the Only Upfront Cost in Home Buying


The Reality: Down payments are a significant part of home-buying but aren't the only expense. Homebuyers should also budget for closing costs, which typically range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price, as well as home and pest inspections, appraisals, option money deposits, moving expenses, and immediate home repairs or improvements.


Myth 4: Renting is Cheaper if You Can't Afford a Large Down Payment


The Reality: This isn't always true. Monthly mortgage payments can sometimes be comparable to or even less than rent. Plus, owning a home allows you to build equity, offering long-term financial benefits that renting doesn't provide. If your cash-on-hand is holding you back, take a look at our down-payment assistance programs! You might just find the answer you've been looking for.


Myth 5: Your Down Payment Must Come Entirely from Personal Savings


The Reality: While personal savings are a common source for down payments, they're not the only option. Gifts from family members, grants from down payment assistance programs, and even certain retirement funds can be used for down payments. Each source comes with its own rules and limitations, so it's essential to understand them fully.


Have questions? Let's visit!


Understanding the realities of down payments can make the dream of homeownership more attainable and less intimidating. By debunking these common myths, we hope you feel more empowered and informed as you navigate home-buying.


Our in-house lender is available to answer any and all questions you might have! Please don't hesitate to contact Alan for personalized advice or questions about down payments and home-buying. Let's turn your homeownership dream into a reality, myth-free!


Alan Cooper

Loan Originator | NMLS #1912420

(254) 733-3008