First-time Buyers -

Down Payment options to talk to your lender about

While you are getting ready to look for your first house, you should be spending time with a mortgage loan officer. He/she will help you determine how much house you can afford and get you pre-approved for the loan, so that yo can make a strong offer, once you find the right house. You should make sure that the loan officer looks into the various low down payment or zero down programs that yo may qualify for as a first time home buyer.

Low  down payment  – Yes, there are still loans with only 3% to 5% down payment requirements. Both Conventional loans and FHA loans can be had with those small down payments.


These loans will usually require that you also pay PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance until you have paid the mortgage down to the 80% level.


Here’s an article that explains PMI -http://www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/the-basics-of-private-mortgage-insurance-pmi.aspx

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  • If you are a veteran, the VA is still offering zero down loan programs to veterans and active duty personnel and most lenders will do them. Check out this site for more on those loans -

 https://www.veteransunited.com/realestate/why-va-loans-dont-require-a-down-payment/



The USDA (yes, the same USDA that inspects and stamps the meat that you buy at the grocery) has a program for rural areas and small towns that also offers zero down.


The USDA programs have specific guidelines about how much you can earn and where the home must be located. To see if you and the property that you are considering qualify  follow the link below.


 For more on that program - https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all-programs/single-family-housing-programs



  •  Doctor Loan – There are programs specific to newly minted doctors that take into account the huge student loan debt that new doctors may have or the high start-up costs of opening a practice. Many of these loans can even have a zero down payment.

To read more about Doctor Mortgage Loans see - https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/personal-finance/the-doctor-mortgage-loan/


So, you can see that there are lots of options for you to explore with your loan officer. Don’t let the outdated notion that you need a 20% down payment stop you in your quest for your first home. In my next post, we’ll explore some options to get your down payment, if you still need to make one.


Norm Werner is a full-time Realtor working for Real Estate One in Milford, Michigan. Norm loves working with first-time buyers to help them through the process of buying their first home. Visit his web sites - www.themilfordteam.com and www.movetomilford.com

Call or text Norm at 248-763-2497 or email him

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