There’s a reason why so many people continue to rent apartments well into their adult years – it’s hard to come up with the down payment necessary to buy a home! While you would probably much rather put your monthly rental fees towards building equity in your own home, getting past the first major hurdle is nothing if not difficult. With all of your money going to pay your current monthly bills, you might not know how to start socking away the money you need for a down payment on a home. But there are a variety of ways to come up with your down payment, as well as lower your out-of-pocket expense. Here are some tips to help you get into your first home faster.

The place to start is by determining the size of mortgage loan you can afford, at least in terms of what you can get pre-approved for and what you can reasonably pay on a monthly basis. This will require you to crunch some numbers and possibly speak to a mortgage lending agent. But once you have a pretty clear idea of what your actual mortgage might be, you can figure out what sort of down payment you’ll need to come up with. Generally speaking, lenders will require a 20% down payment, and considering the recent mortgage collapse and resulting recession, lenders have gotten a lot more insistent on this point. The good news is that if you can come up with a 20% down payment you probably won’t have to pay for mortgage lending insurance on top of everything else, which will save you some money in the long run.

Of course, there are ways to get the mortgage loan you’re seeking without having to plunk down a full fifth of the cost of your home purchase up front. You may be eligible for certain loan types that require a much lower down payment. FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans are designed to help lower-income families get out of rentals and into homeownership, and you could secure a down payment structure as low 3-4% down. So if you’re having trouble scraping together the standard 20%, but you have a steady income, it’s definitely worth looking into FHA loans to see if you’re eligible. If you served in the military you may also be eligible for VA loans. And many states have programs in place through their housing agencies to help out buyers that are struggling to come up with a down payment.

That said, you still have to do your part when buying a home. Zero-down-payment options are virtually a thing of the past these days, so don’t rely on this possibility. In order to come up with the cash you need, you might have to make some changes. If you don’t yet have a budget in place, create one to pinpoint areas where you can cut costs and start putting money into a savings account or CDs.

You might also consider selling off valuables as a way to get the money you need for your down payment on a home. You could even take out a second job. You may have to make sacrifices to reach your goal of becoming a homeowner, but it the long run it will be worthwhile. Whether you’re searching for your first family home or you’ve got designs on an income property through Residencial Casa Linda, you can come up with the down payment if you’re willing to scrimp, save, sacrifice, and do a little research on the assistance programs you may be eligible for.

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