You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.
But there can actually be financial benefits to putting down a small down payment—as low as three percent—rather than parting with so much cash up front, even if you have the money available.
The downsides of a small down payment are pretty well known. You’ll have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance for years, and the lower your down payment, the more you’ll pay. You’ll also be offered a lesser loan amount than borrowers who have a 20-percent down payment, which will eliminate some homes from your search.
The national average for home appreciation is about five percent. The appreciation is independent from your home payment, so whether you put down 20 percent or three percent, the increase in equity is the same. If you’re looking at your home as an investment, putting down a smaller amount can lead to a higher return on investment, while also leaving more of your savings free for home repairs, upgrades, or other investment opportunities.
The Happy Medium
Of course, your home payment options aren’t binary. Most borrowers can find some common ground between the security of a traditional 20 percent and an investment-focused, small down payment. Your trusted real estate professional can provide some answers as you explore your financing options.
About the Scott Farnan Team
If you live in Delaware or Pennsylvania and find yourself in need of a professional realtor skilled at buying, selling and negotiating real estate the Scott Farnan Team at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Fox & Roach REALTORS® is here to help. The Farnan team can answer questions on staging and closing to home inspections and what repairs are required to sell, The Scott Farnan Team offers clients over 25-years of real estate and client services experience, all with the indelible backing of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, a perennial leader, Nation-wide, in home and commercial real estate. The Farnan team is prepared to guide you through the buying and/or selling process, connect you with trusted partners and aim to reducing the levels of stress that typically come with buying and selling a home. Contact us today to get started or search our current listings.