Real Estate

What size down payment you need to buy a home


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Coming up with a large chunk of cash for a down payment is likely the first thing that comes to mind when people think of buying a house one day. But you probably don’t need as much money as you think.

The idea of the 20% down payment as a standard dates back to the Great Depression, when mortgages were usually shorter than the 30-year term that is standard today (and down payment requirements were often even higher than one-fifth of the property’s cost). In the following decades, many government-backed mortgages mandated a 20% down payment.

That’s a daunting figure at today’s prices. The typical house in the U.S. has a median price of around $400,000….


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