The smallest down payment available would be getting a FHA loan which is 3.5% down. It's best to start with speaking to someone at your bank or a mortgage broker to see how much you qualify for. Once you have that information you should choose a Realtor who has an intimate knowledge of the areas that you'd like to buy in. If you'd like any referrals to trusted mortgage brokers I'd be happy to provide you with some. I'm work alot in Culver City and would be more than happy to assist you with any of your real estate needs.
Keller Williams Realty
There's a right way and a wrong way to go about buying a home and you have touched on what I consider THE most important first step one can take towards accomplishing the goal of home ownership - vetting your financing capability.
Please review the following to understand what constitutes a true Pre-Approval and why it can save you from wasting about $1,000 on a cancelled transaction: http://www.Steven-Anthony.com/GettingStarted
Your Pre-Approval is only as good as the level of underwriting diligence expended by the person you work with. The Mortgage Brokers/Bankers I work with understand when I refer my Clients we want to identify any issues that might qualify as a â€œred flagâ€ or Pre-Approval caveat. Many times, even before going into contract, the underwriting department is brought into â€œthe Pre-Approval loop" for guidance, if necessary. You should demand the same from anyone you work with.
If you are not sure where to obtain your Pre-Approval you can ask any of the RealtorsÂ® on this forum who they would recommend in your area. If you are not happy with a referral I would suggest you work with a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist. Mortgage Broker/Bankers with this designation have been trained in financing, investment, and tax planning topics: http://www.cmpsinstitute.org/public/menu
Having been both a Mortgage Broker/Banker I have an experience-based opinion on where you should be seeking your financing and Pre-Approval:
"Retail Banks vs. Mortgage Broker/Bankers"
(Includes useful links to "Rate Shopping - Do It Right" and "How Mortgage Rates Are Determined"
Find yourself an experienced loan broker, they know how to direct you to the best lender that will meet your needs.
For updated market information see my one minute Culver City market update below.
20% is not required on all home loans now. There are many options of loans for you to choose from starting at 0% down (VA loans) to minimum 3% down (Homepath), 3.5% (FHA), 5%-up (Conventional). The best way to find out what options are best suited for your scenario would be to get pre-approved with a licensed loan officer who can break down all your options and see what best suits your scenario. Best of luck to you.
First Capital Mortgage
Direct: (310) 434-1718
Cell: (310) 995-0975
PLEASE SEE MY BLOG FOR A FULL LIST OF TIPS AND ADVICE ON GETTING A MORTGAGE
There are many programs available depending on your credit and the lender. VA and USDA offer 0 down if you meet their qualifications. FHA is as little as 3.5% down and depending on where you are buying conventional financing may be available for 5% or more down.
Talk to a local lender who can review your application and advise you of your options. There are no fees for an initial consultation and you may find you are able to buy sooner than you think.
No, there are other loan options available requiring less of a down payment. You can get an FHA loan with only 3-1/2% down, and I just had a client recently qualify for a conventional loan with only 5% down. I would be happy to put you in touch with a good mortgage agent who would be able to help you out - let me know. Good luck with your search.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage