How much money do I need to buy a house? (Hint: it’s less than you think!)

"How much down payment do I need?" This question comes to me from a client in Winchester, Virginia. Quite honestly, I get this question almost daily. "How much down payment do I need to buy a house?" The truth of the matter is - I'll make light of it - that is sort of like asking me, "What should my favorite color be?!" How much down payment you need literally varies case by case, person by person, and house by house. It is totally different every time. I have some clients that do as little as zero down: you could literally buy a house and take no money to the table. We have done that. I have done that many times over again. I have other clients that pay cash for the whole house. We did one earlier this year and the client put 50% down for a $2 million house in cash. 

Certainly, you do not need to pay all cash for a house. Not many folks can do that. Also, you definitely do not need to do a 50% down. Generally, my clients end up putting down somewhere between 0% and 20% down. On the average, that is typically where it falls. Everything depends on the client’s specific situation, a lot depends on what is going to be best. There are upsides to going with a higher down payment and there are downsides to it. The same  is true when you go with a 0% down or maybe a 3% down. There are positives to that and there are also negatives. 

Really, the biggest thing is figuring out what is the best option for your particular situation. It may not be the same as your brother or your best friend or whoever, but what is going to suit your needs the best. It will also be helpful having a good real estate agent, and more importantly, a really good lender on your side to present all of the options without steering you in any one particular direction, but just explaining, "Hey, here are the pros and cons of the three or four best choices for you," and then letting you pick which one do you want to go with. 

There are a lot of ways to figure that out, and if ever you need help, call 571-393-1082 or email [email protected]. Never hesitate to reach out. I look forward to it. 


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