Do You Need to Save 20% for a Down Payment on a Home?

Buying a home is a big financial endeavor that takes planning and saving. Aside from a down payment, hopeful homeowners will also need to save for closing costs and moving expenses.

When it comes to the down payment amount you’ll need to save, many of us have often heard 20%, the magic number. However, there are a number of different types of mortgages that have different down payment requirements.

To complicate matters, mortgages vary somewhat between lenders and can change over time, with the ebb and flow of the housing market.

So, the best way to approach the process of saving for a down payment is to think about your needs in a home, and reach out to lenders to start comparing rates.

However, there are a few constants when it comes to down payments that are worth considering when shopping for a mortgage.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about some characteristics of down payments, discuss where the 20% number comes from, and give you some tips on finding the best mortgage for you.

Do I need 20% saved for a down payment?

With the median home prices in America sitting around $200,000 and many areas averaging much higher, it may seem like 20% is an unattainable savings goal.

The good news is that many Americans hoping to buy their first home have several options that don’t involve savings $40,000 or more.

So, where does that number come from?

Most mortgage lenders will want to be sure that lending to would be a smart investment. In other words, they want to know that they’ll earn back the amount they lend you plus interest. They determine how risky it is to lend to you by considering a number of factors.

First and foremost is your credit score. Lenders want to see that you’re paying your bills on time and aren’t overwhelmed by debt. Second, they will ask you for verification of your income to determine how much you can realistically hope to pay each month. And, finally, they’ll consider the amount you’re putting down.

If you have less than 20% of the mortgage amount saved for your down payment, you’ll have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is an extra fee must be paid in addition to your interest each month.

First-time buyers rarely put 20% or more down

Thanks to FHA loans guaranteed by the federal government, as well as other loan assistance programs like USDA loans and mortgages insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs, buying a home is usually within reach even if you don’t have several thousands saved.

On average, first-time buyers put closer to 6% down on their mortgage. However, they will have to pay PMI until they’ve paid off 20% of their home.

So, if you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, saving should be a priority. But, don’t worry too much if you don’t think you can save the full 20% in advance.

Another Property Sold – 3040 Falmouth Road Barnstable, MA

This Condo in Barnstable, MA recently sold for $140,000. This style home was sold by Tom Mahedy – Oceanside Realty Group.








3040 Falmouth Road ,



Barnstable, MA 02655

Osterville

Condo

$149,900
Price

$140,000
Sale Price

3
Total Rooms

1
Beds

1
Baths

Osterville Pines updated 1 bedroom condo on the second (top) floor with deck . Spacious feel. Gas heat. Gas cooking. Appliances remain. Kitchen was updated. Deck with no stairway to ground. This complex is unique: the condo fees include unit heat, electricity and water PLUS all normal condo coverage of master insurance, exterior and common areas maintenance. Inground pool. Max 2 pets, but just 1 dog allowed. 1 assigned parking spot and additional visitor spots. Rentals restricted -see Rules and Regs. Septic repairs to be assessed -Buyer will be fully responsible for that. Quick close possible.

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How To Make Big Changes To Your Home In A Short Time

If you have been looking to give your home a bit of pizzaz, you may be worried about the cost or the time investment. The good news is that you don’t need to put in a huge amount of work or money in order to make a big difference in your home. Below, you’ll find some of the easiest projects that you can complete in a hurry. You’ll be enjoying a new view of your home in no time! 

Change Up The Mantel


We often grow comfortable with the decor in our homes. It’s a good idea to change those pictures and displays that you have along the top of your fireplace from time to time. For a more dramatic change, you can replace the entire mantel.  

Bring Out The Front Entryway


The entry to your home is all a part of the curb appeal. You can easily paint the front door or part of the entryway to enhance the look of the front of your home. If you want to go even bolder, try and replace the door with something a bit different than what you already have.

Refresh The Paint


Whether you look at the inside or the outside of your home, you can easily bring about change to the look of your home. Add a fresh coat of paint to the front door. Take a tired looking room and change the paint color of the space. Taking things room by room can be less time consuming than trying to take on the entire house at once. If the exterior of your home needs some fresh color, this project can be expensive, yet rewarding as the amount of curb appeal that you have will increase dramatically.       

Try Some New Lighting


It’s easy to get some new lighting fixtures. It could be as simple as switching a lamp or installing a few new light fixtures. For an even more dramatic change, add some dimmer switches or energy efficient lightbulbs. Checking in on the lighting in your home can be beneficial for both your home decor and the practical use of lights. 

Don’t forget the outdoors as well. It can be very refreshing for your landscape to have some outdoor lighting that highlights the more dramatic pieces of the outdoor space. 

Plant Something New


If you take the time to plant something new, you can bring a whole new look to the exterior of your home. Whether you take the time to plant one simple bush or are able to place down a whole new flower bed, small changes make a big impact. 

However small your home improvement projects are, they are a part of working towards making your home a better place to live.     

 

Tips For Setting The Right Price For Your Home

If you’ve lived in your home for more than a couple years, chances are you’ve grown rather attached to it. Whether you’re selling your house because your family has outgrown it or your company has transferred you to another location, you’re probably attaching a lot of sentimental value to the price tag. Unfortunately, sentimental value does not translate into dollars and cents in today’s real estate market.

The emotions of prospective buyers will often play a role in their decision to make on offer on your house, but they’re probably not going to pay more than the market value for your property — unless there’s a bidding war situation going on. One of the best ways to determine a fair and reasonable asking price for your home is to have it appraised by an experienced real estate agent. Their appraisal will be based on objective data, such as the selling price of comparable homes in your area. The location and condition of your home will have a bearing on pricing your home effectively, as will the prevailing market conditions and other factors. Although online estimates can sometimes give you a ballpark figure of what your house may be worth, a local appraisal is more accurate

A common misconception among homeowners is that a $10,000 home improvement expenditure should justify a $10,000 increase in the selling price of a home. Although that concept may seem logical, it unfortunately doesn’t work that way in the real estate market. An updated kitchen, bathroom, or roof may make your house more appealing to prospective buyers and help it sell faster, but it probably won’t have a dollar-for-dollar impact on the price buyers would be willing to pay. Since each selling situation is unique, however, your local real estate agent is the best person to consult regarding a fair asking price for your home.

Avoiding Home Seller Mistakes

In addition to overpricing their home, another mistake home sellers make involves three related activities: decorating, staging, and attempting to create curb appeal. In spite of a homeowner’s best intentions, their decorating and home staging ideas may clash with those of the house-buying public. When you attempt to tackle home staging on your own, several things could go wrong.

  • You could either spend too much or too little on making repairs and sprucing up your home’s appearance.
  • You could spend your time and money upgrading inconsequential features of your home, while overlooking the real important changes that need to be made.

In either case, you’re missing the mark when it comes to maximizing the marketability of your home. That’s why it pays to take advantage of the knowledge, expertise, and objectivity of a professional real estate agent. Their recommendations on pricing and home staging will be based on experience, best practices, objective criteria, and current market conditions.