The Downward Trend of Down Payments

For midcentury homebuyers, a 20% down payment was the gold standard. But modern homebuyers have more options. In fact, the National Association of REALTORS® reports that, today, 60% of first-time homebuyers put down 10% or less.* Read on to discover your down payment options.

FHA Loans** — As Low As 3.5%

The terms may seem interchangeable, but when a seller hears that you’re “pre-approved,” they know you’re a serious buyer. While pre-qualification is a more casual process, pre-approval means that your income and assets have been verified, your credit has been checked, and your lender is committed. Want a leg up during negotiations? Pre-approval is the way to go.

Down Payment

VA Loans** — As Low As 0%

A game-changing option for veterans, active service members and the spouses of fallen soldiers, loans from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) give many homebuyers the option of putting 0% down.

Down Payment

Conventional Loans*** — As Low As 3%

While a majority of buyers seeking conventional loans put 20% down, it isn’t mandatory. In fact, these loans have down payments as low as 3% for qualified buyers. And if you need a little extra help with your down payment, some lenders offer additional mortgage grants that push your out-of-pocket even lower.

Down Payment

Crunch The Numbers

Loan amount and interest rate are major factors when determining affordability, but many homebuyers overlook property taxes and insurance, both of which impact your bottom Since today’s homebuyers have the luxury of deciding which down payment is right for them, we recommend chatting with your preferred lender for financial details specific to your current situation. We also provide a comprehensive affordability calculator so you can see how different down payments will impact your monthly mortgage payments.

See Affordability Calculator
Down Payment

The Bottom Line

Once you have a financial plan in mind and feel ready to get serious about your home search, don’t be afraid to ask questions about monthly payment estimates from homebuilders. At Meritage, our all-in monthly payments include things like taxes, insurance and a lower down payment that’s in line with modern standards, but others may not. Having a clearer picture of your down payment options and your estimated monthly payment will give you a better understanding of your true buying power.

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Down Payment

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The foregoing information is provided solely for general information purposes and is not intended in any way as financial, securities, insurance, tax, or legal advice or services. Each potential homebuyer may have unique financial and other considerations that may be important to any home buying, financing or related decision. Accordingly, Meritage does not assume any duty or liability in providing the foregoing information and expressly disclaims all representations and warranties of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to such information. Potential homebuyers that desire additional information or guidance tailored to their specific situation should contact a relevant professional.