Down Payments and Closing Costs
When you buy a home, there are several up-front costs you should be aware of,
particularly down payments and closing costs.
A down payment is usually between 3% and 20% of the total cost of the home.
The amount of the down payment depends on your credit history, income, the cost
of the home, and the type of mortgage you choose. Some lenders also have loan
options that allow for no down payment at all.
If your down payment is less than 20%, you will need private mortgage insurance
(PMI). This is insurance you pay to protect the bank if you don't repay your
loan in full. PMI is added to your closing and monthly mortgage costs. When
you apply for a home loan, many mortgages require you to also have at least
two month's worth of mortgage payments saved, called reserves. However, there
are mortgages that do not require reserves.
Most lenders want to know the source of your down payment and have restrictions
about how much can come from gifts from your relatives. In most cases, these
gifts will need to be documented. Ask your lender for more information.
Closing, or settlement, costs are fees you pay when you actually get your
loan from your financial institution. These include points, taxes, title insurance,
financing costs, items that must be prepaid or escrowed, and other settlement
Closing costs generally range between 2-7% of the loan value. You'll receive
an estimate from your lender after you apply for a mortgage. You must pay these
costs at the time you close on your loan.
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What is a mortgage?
Working with Lenders
Applying for a Mortgage