The down payment is a percentage of the purchase price and the initial “upfront” payment made when buying property. The down payment is essentially seen as your investment in the mortgage, since you stand to lose it if you default on the monthly payments that come after.
The down payment you put down for a house can influence different parts of the mortgage:
- By knowing the amount you can afford to put down, you can calculate whether a fixed or adjustable rate mortgage may benefit you most.
- Your lender may require that you pay a fee for private mortgage insurance if the down payment isn’t high enough.
- A larger down payment usually means a lower interest rate, and vice versa.
Different lenders require a different percentage as down payment. For conventional loans, lenders expect a down payment of anywhere between 5 and 20 percent. However, many first-time home buyers find it difficult to put down such a large amount. In this case, FHA loans in particular require at least 3.5 percent, no matter what state you reside in.