But if you're buying during a seller's market where you will compete with many buyers some of whom are paying cash, you may be tuned out by sellers who don't want to deal with the many restrictions of VA and for that matter, FHA loans.
Low down payments will rarely win in a seller's market.
For the most part, (there are couple of others) there are two zero down loans VA loans but you have to be a vet to get that, there are USDA loans but those need to be in certain areas and there are income limitations.
There is CalHFA which is 1/2 % down. There are limitation restrictions
There are 3% conforming loans to $417,000, which require good credit.
Than as most people have mentioned here there is FHA which requires 3.5% down and allows for less than perfect credit. It can also go up to loan amounts of up to $729,750 in some areas.
When I preaprove someone, I like to work closely with the realtors to make sure the write correctly, to make sure that people with a low down payment are going to have enough money to close.
A low downpayment is usually 3.5% of the purchase price. For example, on a $200,000 home the downpayment would be $7000. You also need to consider how much the closing costs would be and in many cases you can ask the seller to give you a credit towards closing costs of between 3-6% of the purchase price. I work with a lot of first time homebuyers and I love the challenge of making it work and having a can-do attitude.
Feel free to contact me for more details
I am in Oakland and we have an FHA (96.5% financing) plus a silent second of (3%) for a total of .5% down. Great program and a lot of my clients have taken advantage. There is an income limitation but is based on the household count and reasonable for Alameda County.
Feel free to contact me directly!