Many first-time buyers are overwhelmed by all the questions to ask before jumping into homeownership. People often wonder, “Am I ready? Is this a good investment for me? Can I afford it? Will I live here long enough to warrant buying a place instead of renting?” Perhaps the biggest concern is how to pay for such a big purchase. Oftentimes, first-time buyers cannot afford a large down payment. According to data from the National Association of REALTORS® Confidence Index, in the months of December 2014 through February 2015, about two-thirds of first-time buyers made a down payment between 0-6 percent. And while the number of small down payments is lower than it was in 2009 (when 77 percent of down payments were in the 0-6 percent range), it is higher than this time last year (when 61 percent of down payments for first-time buyers fit in that range).
Check out a blog post by NAR’s economic team on the recent rise in lower down payments for first-time buyers. Discuss down payment trends with REALTORS® in your area to get their perspective. Talk to first-time buyers to see what they were able to put down and how they felt about it.