(Closed) Buying a home, how much to put down?

posted 4 years ago in Legal
  • poll: How much should / did you put down on home purchase
    0-10% : (16 votes)
    18 %
    11-15% : (11 votes)
    12 %
    20% : (45 votes)
    51 %
    more than 20% : (17 votes)
    19 %
  • Post # 2
    4576 posts
    Honey bee

    jessicabear:  I’m pretty sure 20% is what’s expected for down payment..where I live at least.

    Post # 3
    400 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2015

    The more the better. Why pay a mortgage forever?

    I don’t know for the U.S. but at some banks in Canada, there is a minimum down payment that is required in order to qualify for a conventional mortgage. Otherwise, you are considered high risk and need to pay for default insurance which slows down your payments since it’s not paid towards your principal.

    Post # 4
    7130 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    jessicabear:  It depends on the kind of loan you plan to do. For a traditional loan, 20% is usually customary, or if you can save more than that – it certainly doesn’t hurt you. When Darling Husband and I purchased our home (almost 8 years ago) out of college we opted for an FHA (first time home buyers) loan where we were only required to put 3% down. The downside to that is having a mandatory PMI (basically a mortgage insurance) which you have to pay down to get removed. We are actually just now refinancing to a standard 15 year loan, and eliminating the PMI. We were able to lock in an amazingly low rate at 15 years and our goal is to have our house paid off before we’re 50. 

    A lot also depends on the interest rate. Personally, I feel it’s better to put the minimum you can as a downpayment (provided you’ve got a good interest rate) and instead use the extra cash to make 1-2 extra payments each year towards the principal. That will help pay your loan down faster. 

    Post # 5
    1924 posts
    Buzzing bee

    jessicabear:  After you pay your downpayment, you also want to make sure you have enough saved up for padding. Lots of things could go wrong – you could buy the house and only after discover that it needs a few different things fixed/replaced, so you want to make sure you’ll have the funds for that as well as your emergency savings (for things like if you lose your job)! Just something to think about!

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by  hopfenn.
    Post # 6
    5153 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2014

    More is definitely better! If you pay 20%, you eliminate the PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) and that will lower your total payments. We only paid 3.5% down since we did a FHA First Time Homebuyers Loan and we do have to pay the PMI. 

    Post # 7
    1710 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    We put 20% down to avoid paying CMHC (Canada).

    Post # 8
    1469 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2015 - Holly Hedge Estate

    weatherbug:  we are planning on doing the same FHA first time homebuyers loan. Is it difficult to get approved for that? we are going to start exploring the entire process after the holidays.

    Post # 9
    8959 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    jessicabear:  Echoing what some PPs have said — there are a lot of factors that determine what’s best. Don’t forget that there are closing costs in addition to the down payment. If you have enough savings to put 20% down, take care of closing costs, and still have a healthy cushion, I’d put the 20% down to eliminate PMI.

    Post # 10
    1035 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2015

    The more cash you put down, the less interest you’ll pay in the long run. Find an online mortgage calculator and play around with it—the difference can be huge.

    The only disclaimer is that you should make sure you have enough cash on hand to deal with any unexpected expenses. Don’t dip into your emergency fund to increase your down payment.

    Someone above said that you should make a smaller down payment so that you have cash on hand for additional principal payments every year, but that makes no sense. Sitting on extra cash for another year or two just means you’re paying interest on a loan for no reason. Taking out a smaller mortgage would make your monthly payments lower to begin with, so you could use the savings there to make the additional payments, or else just choose a shorter loan period from the outset.

    Post # 11
    5153 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2014

    SweetBeets:  We were approved for both a conventional and FHA loan w/no problem. We have low debt, good credit scores and make about $130K combined so we had no issues. I see you got married at Holly Hedge, which means you are in my general area (do you live in PA or NJ?). We loved our mortgage company so if you need any details and do live in the area (we live in NJ), PM me and let me know! 🙂 

    Post # 12
    14986 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    We were going to put down 20% just to avoid having to pay PMI, but then we had to put down 24% because of the limits in our county for conventional vs jumbo loan.  We had the cash for up to 50% if we wanted to drain everything, but were definitely not comfortable enough to do that.  We figured just enough to get the best rates and reasonable monthly payment, but putting say another 10-20k down was only saving us 50/month which we didn’t feel was worth it.

    Post # 13
    602 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    Definitely 20% if you can do it comfortably.  For anything more than 20%, it depends on where your money is.  If it’s invested, it’s likely making more than the mortgage interest rate, so it makes sense to keep the money in investments and just make the monthly payments.  However, if your money is just in savings or somewhere not making much, avoiding interst charges as much as possible is smart. 

    Post # 14
    416 posts
    Helper bee

    Depends on a lot of factors, including your taste for risk, your credit, etc. Rates are pretty low right now and typically the more you put down upfront, the better rate you’ll get. However, right now (and things can change) the rate difference between putting 5% down and 10% down is about a full point (1%) but the difference between putting down 10% and 20% is maybe 0.01-0.02%. Your monthly mortgage will also obviously be higher the less you put down, but if the higher mortgage amount is doable, you’d be better off putting the extra 10% into nearly any kind of investment. Homes only appreciate about 2% a year on average, whereas you can get a better return on many even conservative investments. 

    Also, you do not always have to pay PMI if you put down less than 20%. Though that is true for a straight conventional loan, there are many other options out there and it’s worth asking. The better your credit, the more willing banks will be to waive it  or structure your loan so you don’t need to pay it. I’d really suggest getting your most recent FICO score and reaching out to a few banks for what they can do for you and what unofficial rates would look like for you. Do NOT allow them to actually run your credit until you’ve decided who to go with. 

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