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Ways To Get A Down Payment

Jul 14, 2008
In the recent past it was not uncommon to find no-down payment loans from lenders for homebuyers. Unfortunately lenders are tightening standards and requiring a down payment of some degree. This is making it a little more difficult for the first time homebuyer to get into home ownership. Today it is difficult to find a zero-down loan program and lenders are making it advantageous for the buyer to have a down payment.

The obvious advantage is in the amount being financed; the more money down, the less financed and the smaller the monthly payments will be. A down payment becomes instant equity once closing and this equity can then be borrowed against with home equity loans and lines of credit. It is recommended to first time homeowners, by most lenders, to reserve money for closing costs, unexpected expenditures and maintenance of the home and not allocate all savings to a down payment.

With today's economy many people, particularly the first time homebuyer, to come up with a down payment. Below is a list of practical ways that a down payment can be obtained:

* Automatic Savings Plan. Set up a savings plan with your employer and your direct deposit banking to divert a particular percentage of your paycheck to go into a savings account. In most cases you do not even miss the money and it will quickly grow into a substantial savings for a down payment.

* Give Money. Parents, grandparents and relatives can give a monetary gift for a down payment; however, often a lender still wants to see a decent amount of money in savings such as 1 to 5 percent of the cost of the home.

* Sale of Assets. Selling a car, boat or motorcycle will often give you enough money for a down payment on a home. These items can always be replaced in the future.

* Liquidation. Liquidating stocks, mutual funds, savings bonds and other investments is a quick way to obtain a down payment.

* 401(k) Loan or Dispersal. This is usually allowed in a company's plan; however if in the form of a loan, you must remember this will be coming from your paycheck each week until it is paid off. Remember this when budgeting. If you can get a dispersal figure in the taxes and penalties.

* First Time Homebuyer Programs. Explore your options from several lenders for the first time homebuyer or other programs for teachers, police officers, military or other public servants.

In general a lender will want to know how you obtained the money you are using for a down payment to see that you have been able to properly manage your money. Most of the time only a certain percentage of the down payment can come from a lump sum gift or dispersal; lenders want to be assured you will manage your budget wisely. There are government programs that can assist homebuyers who are unable to save much for down payments such as an FHA loan or a Veterans loan. Grants and government assisted programs often have to be qualified for and many people actually make too much money to qualify for the assistance.
About the Author
J Stromsteen has many years expertise in the finance, real estate, and insurance industry. She contributes to various websites such as First Time Home Buyer where you can find today's mortgage rates as well as a wealth of information on getting a First Time Home Buyers Loan .
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