Federal Housing Administration

The 20% mortgage down payment is all but dead

The 20% mortgage down payment is all but dead

For first-time home buyers, the challenge of coming up with a 20% mortgage down payment is often difficult enough to keep them out of the market. But the fact is, the 20% down payment is all but dead — and has been for quite some time, especially for first-time buyers.

Most buyers make down payments lower than 20%

“It’s been my experience that about half of my clients know that there are loans and/or programs that require less than 20% down,” says Kris Lindahl, a real estate agent in Blaine, Minn. “The other half still think that they must have at least 20% down in order to qualify for a home mortgage.”

But most people don’t put 20% down on a home, even though it’s the...

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