House Buying For The Cash Poor: 4 Ways To Come Up With Your Down Payment

If you want to buy a house, you should be prepared to put down 5 to 20 percent of the asking price. While 5 percent might not seem so bad, 20 percent is out of reach for many people. With the majority of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, coming up with even a small down payment can seem like an impossible task. Fortunately, there are ways that you can afford a down payment. By lowering your down payment obligation or raising the money to cover it, you will soon be able to purchase your dream home. Following are four ways to come up with your down payment. 

Government Mortgage

Some government mortgages have very low down payment requirements. For example, the down payment on an FHA loan can be as low as 3.5 percent, depending on your credit history. Other government loans, such as USDA and veteran loans have lower down payment requirements as well. 

Down Payment Assistance

Some communities have down payment assistance programs for low-income families and first-time home buyers. While not everyone qualifies for these programs, you might. It's worth a shot. Some banks even offer down payment assistance if you get a mortgage through them. The key is to look around. There may be something out there that can help you. If you're not sure where to start, call your local community action resource center or your area housing development agency.

Retirement Account

If you have a retirement account, you may be able to pull money from it to cover your down payment. If you're a first-time home buyer, you can pull up to $10,000 from your IRA without paying any penalties. You may also be able to take out a loan from your 401 k plan. So don't overlook these resources when trying to come up with a down payment.

Seller Assist

You may be able to ask the seller to cover some of your closing costs. However, this is not possible with all types of loans. Most of the time, you can only get an assist for a conventional loan. Government loans are exempt. 

If you want to purchase a home but don't have a down payment, don't give up hope. Talk to a mortgage broker today to see what all of your options are. Home ownership may be more possible than you think if you can get help to lower your down payment obligation or help with raising the funds.