Millennials are ready to break the golden rule of home-buying

Many young home-buyers don’t think it's possible to save up for a 20% down payment

National /
Feb.February 08, 2020 12:00 PM
Home buyers have for decades been advised to never put a less than 20 percent down payment on a house, but 70% of young home-buyers are willing to break that rule this year (Credit: iStock)

Home buyers have for decades been advised to never put a less than 20 percent down payment on a house, but 70% of young home-buyers are willing to break that rule this year (Credit: iStock)

Add the 20-percent-down-payment rule to the list of norms millennials are tossing out the window.

Around 70 percent of millennials said they would put down less than 20 percent of the price of a home as a down payment this year, breaking a rule of thumb that’s stood for decades, according to Business Insider. More than a quarter said they’d put down less than 10 percent, which was almost unheard of in their parents’ generation.

It’s not surprising that it’s an appealing option. It could take a renter in a high-cost city like Los Angeles nearly a decade to save up enough money for a 20 percent down payment on a home in their city.

Some agents are advising their clients not to wait, arguing it’s better for a homebuyer to get their foot in the door now and start building equity rather than wait to save up for a 20 percent down payment. It could all work out for a buyer if their home quickly increases in value.

Putting down less than 20 percent means homebuyers will have to pay private mortgage insurance — a monthly payment on top of a mortgage that’s usually between 0.3 percent and 1.2 percent of the home’s value.

But that payment is automatically cancelled once a mortgage’s loan-to-value ratio hits 78 percent or lower, which can happen if a home value increases enough. Still, appreciation could slow in the future and either way, a lower down payment means higher monthly payments.

Regardless, it seems many home-buyers don’t see much of a choice. [Business Insider] – Dennis Lynch


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