Eight ways to buy a home with little or no down payment

Many buyers still believe that they need to put down at least 20% in order to purchase a home. Whether this is a buyer’s first home or 2nd move up home, the truth is that there are many programs available that require little or no down payment funds at all.

Listed below are 8 ways for first time homebuyers to seasoned home buyers with limited funds to participate in the dream of home ownership:


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development department offers 100% financing for homes located in rural areas. This loan requires a one-time guarantee fee that can be rolled into the loan amount and an annual fee that is added to the monthly payment. There are restrictions based on income and location. To see if you may be eligible for a USDA loan or to see USDA eligible locations click here.


The Veterans Administration offers a 100% financing loan for military service members. Eligible members include veterans, reservists, active duty personnel, and select family members. This loan features flexible credit requirements, no down payment requirement and no mortgage insurance requirement. It also allows down payment assistance and closing costs funds to come from a gift or grant. For more details click here.


Ameris Bank offers the Ameris Dream loan which provides up to 100% financing for first time homebuyers with no mortgage insurance requirement. This loan allows gift funds to assist with down payment and closing costs, but the borrower must contribute at least $500. Income and location restrictions apply. Contact an Ameris Bank mortgage banker for details.


The Medical Professional loan which provides up to 100% financing with no private mortgage insurance for MDs, osteopaths, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, chiropractors, podiatrists, and optometrists (including residents and fellows). Because of the unique needs of medical professionals, this loan takes into account the needed flexibility surrounding student loan debt, time on the job, and down payment requirement.


Many state and county government agencies provide down payment assistance in the form of forgivable or repayable grants or forgivable or repayable second mortgages. A forgivable grant or second mortgage means that the down payment assistance funds are forgiven over a predetermined length of time that you own the home. Repayable grants or second mortgages offer the buyer a chance to borrow the down payment and pay it back over time at an affordable interest rate. The funds can range from a few thousand dollars to several thousand dollars towards down payment and closing cost assistance. The assistance can be used to subsidize the down payment needed for a 97% conventional or FHA loan.


These loans are conventional loans that are ideal for borrowers with limited savings. They require only a 3% down payment and allow this down payment and closing costs to be gifted. It also offers reduced rates on the private mortgage insurance required. Unlike FHA loans, private mortgage insurance for conventional loans can be cancelled after the loan balance drops below 80% of the homes appraised value which can save you money over the length of the loan. For income qualifications and more details visit HomeReady by Fannie Mae or HomePossible by FreddieMac.


FHA loans are one of the most flexible loan programs available because there are no income restrictions, only requires 3.5% down which can be gifted, and allows a co-applicant on the loan to help you qualify for the home even though they may not live in the home with you. This loan charges an upfront fee which can be rolled into the loan amount and requires mortgage insurance. As stated above, mortgage insurance on an FHA loan cannot be removed and stays on the loan for the life of the loan. For more information click here.


The Ameris Edge was specifically designed to offer those needing big loans a small down payment option. At just 5% down, jumbo buyers can finance up to $850,000. For those buyers with even bigger homeownership dreams, the Ameris Edge can finance up to $3 million with just 30% down. This product is available for primary as well as second homes. Mortgage insurance is required for all LTV’s over 80%.


Published by renzolara

South Florida Real Estate Professional. Residential, Investment and Commercial Sales. Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach.

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