Buying a home is a significant investment. However, before investing in a house, you must save up a down payment to qualify for a loan. Our real estate agents understand that this can be a daunting prospect, and yet it's not insurmountable. With careful planning, a little research, and strategic use of your money, you can reach your down-payment goal and step into the home of your dreams.
• The 20% Myth
You've likely heard that you need to save 20% of the home's purchase price as a down payment. That's not accurate. You can purchase a home with as little as 0%-5% down for most loans. However, until you've paid down 20% of the loan, you must pay for mortgage insurance. For this reason, most homeowners strive to pay off at least 20% of the loan as quickly as possible.
• VA Loans
For those who serve our country and their surviving spouses, VA loans are a fantastic way to step into the best Morgantown homes for sale. VA loans don't require any down payment as the government backs these loans. However, borrowers must still meet the lender's thresholds for income, credit scores, debt-to-income ratios, etc.
• USDA Loans
If you've thought about starting a hobby farm or are eager to move into a rural community, USDA loans are worth looking into. As with VA loans, USDA loans do not require a down payment to qualify.
• Conventional Loans
Most conventional loans will require between 3-5% down and a credit score of 620+ to qualify. With conventional loans, the higher your credit score, the less you will have to put down. It's worth making as much effort as possible to raise your score before applying for the loan.
• FHA Loans
For the best rates, FHA loans require at least 3.5% down and a credit score of 580+. However, if your credit is below 579, you can still qualify, but you will need to put a minimum of 10% down to receive the loan.
• Second Home Loans
If you're purchasing a rental or looking to add a vacation property to your portfolio, you'll need to secure a conventional loan. You cannot use FHA, VA, or USDA loan options for second homes. And, you'll need to put at least 10% down and may face significant restrictions on how you can use the property, i.e., long-term rental, Airbnb, etc. If you intend to generate revenue through rental income, you will need a high credit score and between 15-25% to qualify.
It's daunting but not impossible to save 5, 10, and even 20%. As challenging as it is, the following steps will help you achieve your goal:
• Trim the budget - Cut unnecessary expenses such as lunches out, expensive coffees, vacations, and major purchases.
• Raise your score - Get your credit report cleaned up and make a concerted effort to raise your score as high as possible.
• Ask for money - Ask your family and friends to give you cash gifts for holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries.
• Get a side gig - Whether you clean out your closets on eBay or pick up a few freelance jobs online, side income earned and saved can add up faster than you think.
Contact us for more information about down payments and the steps you can take to save the money you need to purchase the home of your dreams.