Down payment holding you back? It shouldn’t

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Down payment holding you back? It shouldn’t

Do you have your eye on that four bedroom house with a white picket fence and a bonus room? You've compared interest rates and monthly payments, and the only thing holding you back from buying your dream home is the large down payment required. Well, here are a few strategies you should consider for saving up for that down payment.

Step 1 - Shop around for loans that require lower initial down payments.

Not all loans require that customers have a 20% down payment. Some loans require only 5%, while others don't require a down payment at all. However, these loans usually charge a higher interest rate or require private mortgage insurance (PMI), which would increase the monthly payments. Make sure you do your homework by matching the best rates with the down payment requirement and monthly payments that work best for you.

Step 2 - Be disciplined in your savings.

Saving a large amount of money can take time, but if you are consistent in your approach it can be done before you know it. A great way to do this is by setting up an automatic savings plan that takes a set amount of money from your checking account and transfers it to your savings account. Make sure you shop around to get the best savings rate possible. In addition, depending on when you will need the money, you may want to look into investing in a short-term Certificate of Deposit or a High-Rate Money Market or Savings Account.

Step 3 - Know your options.

Another option would be looking into your 401K plan. Many companies allow you to borrow against your 401K, and if you have enough in your 401K plan, this can be the perfect option for getting your down payment. The best thing about this option is that since you are, in effect, borrowing from yourself, all the loan repayments and interest payments go back into your 401K account. Some plans also allow you to withdraw the money if you are purchasing your first primary home.

So, check all your options, save wisely and go buy that home you have always wanted.

Source: Informa Research Services

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All Comments

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Top Contributor
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150 People Helped

Helpful to 6 out of 8 people

I've read that one option is to tack on a higher price to the home and have that price jump applied to the down payment (for instance, buy a home that's $300k for $320k and receive $20k toward the down payment). Is it legal to do this, and if so, is it an agreement made with the lender, buyer or is it set up some other way?

Top Contributor
405 Contributions
2598 People Helped

Great Point

Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

My mom gave me some money for my home so I wouldn't have to cash out my 401k. I didn't think it would matter so I didn't bother to tell my mortgage broker. It nearly scuttled the deal right before closing.

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Parent Help

If your parents are going to help you out with the down payment, check with your prospective lenders to find out how long the money needs to "season" in your account. When I was looking for a place, my realator indicated that 3 to 6 months of the money in your account was the standard period of time. (Make sure to check out the tax restrictions of gifts in a given year ... it might help if each your parents give you 1/2 the amount).

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Nice advice kt214007, i didn't some loans required some sort of money for some time..thanks!

1 Contribution
2 People Helped

Helpful to 2 out of 5 people

I have been reading all the entries, and just wonder how long it takes for a score to come up. I now have paid off all 11 collection accounts, paid bills on time this entire year, do not have any debt except for 5,000 left on car loan and student loans, all on time, do not have any inaccuracies, applied for Crowne Jewlers credt card-was approved, used the card, and have paid on time for 3 months, and my score is STILL at 545 after a year. What do I do?

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