The amount of money you need to save for a down payment on your new home will vary depending on several factors. Those include your current financial situation and future goals.
Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make. Having the right down payment is essential to get a mortgage and enjoy all of the benefits homeownership brings.
- Lower Interest Rates
Getting a lower interest rate on your mortgage is one of the biggest benefits of making a larger down payment. Several factors can help you qualify for a lower mortgage rate, including reducing your loan term, buying points, and improving your credit score.
The more you put down, the lower your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is — that’s a number lenders use to determine how much risk they’re taking on with your mortgage. A smaller LTV ratio means a lower mortgage rate, since the lender is less likely to lose money on your loan.
In general, putting down at least 20% of the purchase price will allow you to get a better mortgage rate. You can use our Explore Interest Rates tool to see how different down payments will affect your loan and your interest payments over time.
A lower down payment will also mean a smaller monthly mortgage payment, which can be especially helpful if your income is going up or down, as it can give you more wiggle room. A low mortgage payment will also make your debt-to-income ratio more favorable, which can make it easier to qualify for a more expensive home.
Ultimately, you need to be careful not to overdo it when shopping for your mortgage. It’s always best to shop around and compare lenders to find the right fit for your needs and financial situation.
If you need to get a large down payment together, you can often tap into your savings and assets or get a family member to help out with the financing. But remember: a large down payment is not an easy feat, and it will require a lot of hard work to save up the cash.
- A Smaller Monthly Payment
A smaller mortgage payment is a great way to reduce your household budget. This can be a particularly big deal for homeowners with a mortgage that makes up a large part of their monthly expenses, but also for those who are trying to save money for a rainy day or retirement. In addition, a lower mortgage payment can help you meet the debt-to-income (DTI) requirements of your lender. Lenders like to see your mortgage payments and other regular monthly debt — including credit cards, auto loans, and student loans — totaling less than 43% of your income.
The most important part of the mortgage puzzle is making sure that you pay it off on time. This can be as simple as reworking your budget to make room for extra payments or as elaborate as negotiating with your employer for a bigger paycheck. Regardless of the approach, be sure to ask for any extra funds that you might get in the form of a bonus or a raise to be paid directly to your mortgage. It may be the best use of the extra cash that you could find.
- A More Secure Loan
A larger down payment will not only save you money in the long run, but it can also help to avert a costly foreclosure. Not only will you have less to pay back in interest, but you can also use the equity in your home to make home improvements or fund a down payment on another house. To get the most out of your down payment, be sure to take advantage of home improvement loans that may be available through your local lender. Most lenders offer a range of options that will be best suited to your budget and lifestyle. In fact, some lenders are even offering incentives to encourage down payment contributions.
- A Quicker Closing
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking at homes is one of the best ways to speed up the loan process. This will save you time and ensure that all the necessary documents are ready to go when your lender requests them.
Having a larger down payment can also help you qualify for a faster closing on your home. This is because a large down payment shows that you are more stable in your financial situation, which can make lenders more likely to approve your loan quickly.
However, the down payment amount that you choose should be based on your specific circumstances. You should consider your income, assets, and credit history before deciding how much to put down on your new home.
A down payment of less than 20% can cost you interest and fees, which can deplete your savings. On the other hand, a down payment of more than 20% can give you the financial flexibility to move sooner should an unexpected life change occur.
Another advantage of a higher down payment is that it can allow you to take out a mortgage on more than one property. This is useful for those who want to purchase a second home, vacation house, or rental apartment.
Your down payment can also speed up the mortgage approval process, as many lenders require a credit check and other verifications to make sure that you are a good risk. In some cases, an underwriter will even contact your employers to verify that you are working and that you are able to pay the monthly mortgage.
You can get an appraisal as soon as possible so that the lender can be sure that the home you are purchasing is worth what you are paying for it. An appraisal can take days or weeks, so it is important that you are able to schedule this part of the process as early as possible.
A quick closing can also prevent you from losing your mortgage rate lock, which can result in a higher monthly payment if rates continue to rise. As long as you have all the required documentation ready to go when your lender requests it, you can close on a mortgage in record time.