I disagree with Gail. Actually, there are SOME programs available, but you should talk to a local lender and see what those are. USDA has a loan program that offers basically zero money down, but it's restricted to certain rural areas. Some states have down payment assistance programs (basically in the form of a 2nd mortgage). If you don't go with those options, your minimum down payment for an FHA loan is 3.5%. And I also disagree with Gail's statement that you need a "substantial" amount of money for closing costs. Depending on your loan, closing costs could be anywhere from 1-3% of the purchase price....AND you can often negotiate that part into the contract to have the SELLER pay those.
HOWEVER, I do caution folks about trying to buy a house with zero money. If you can't afford a down payment or closing costs, what happens when your furnace breaks down this winter? Or a pipe freezes and your home is flooded? Or the water heater breaks? Or you get 13" of rain in 24 hours and your basement is flooded?
I have helped first time buyers get into a home with zero money down, and now...they struggle whenever something happens. Fence blows over in a big wind storm. OR...house was flooded in the recent "great Colorado Flood of 2013" Their home was not in a flood plain, and therefore didn't have flood insurance. Luckily they still HAVE a home, but their finished basement is ruined and they have no money to fix it.
I would encourage you to buy a home when you have money to put into it.... more
I once lived in the Mohawk Valley of New York State and we had a 150-200 year old hand dug well. Our house had been abandoned for years so my husband climbed down the well and cleaned it. We had to have water delivered to the well to fill it up some, and the water came back on its own in a couple of months.
Anyway, we had the water tested and there was some contamination due to the orig. condition of the hand dug well. Things had fallen into it for years before a concrete slab was installed in the 1950's or so. We found everything from cast iron toys to animal bones in there. We had the water tested, and the water was contaminated but easily treatable for home use. But, I ended up boiling the drinking water anyway just to be on the safe side. With any hand dug well, the water should be tested before drinking. Some people live in places for years drinking the water out of streams, old wells ect., and never sick. I think they must build up an immunity or something. But, the water gave me a sore throat right away, so I knew something was wrong. I sure miss that old well with the pitcher pump. I remember going outside on a freezing winter night with the sky so clear you could see the Northern Lights. Beauitful area.... more