Its absolutely not a requirement to put 20% down. ALSO, there is ALWAYS PMI on a loan with less than 20% down (conventional).
The difference is that PMI can be structured in several different ways. Loans above 80% loan to value (less than 20% down) with "no mortgage insurance" are called LENDER PAID mortgage insurance premiums, or they have been called "tax advantaged mortgage insurance", etc.
What it entails is taking a higher interest rate that you would qualify for anyways, and then the bank makes a yield and pays your mortgage insurance in the form of a higher interest rate, or a chunk of money up front as opposed to the borrower making monthly payments.
It is good for MARKETING, but in reality, I would rather pay a lower interest rate, and a monthly mortgage insurance payment that can be REMOVED after 2 years (with 20% equity) than pay a .25% or higher rate for the entire life of the loan. That is, pending you plan on keeping the loan long term.
So, I got off on a tangent, BUT,
-conventional you can do as little as 5% down (and it WILL have mortgage insurance, whether borrower paid or lender paid),
-FHA you can go 3.5% down and even get down payment assistance that reduces that to .5% down,
-VA is 0% down up to San Diego maximum loan amount of 500K. Anything above that you have to put 25% on the difference. (ie: 600K would be 25K down payment)
There are also specialty things like Homepath which allows for very little down with no appraisal, but it has to be a Homepath property (Fannie Mae Bank Owned).
Its also untrue that you need any kind of occupancy requirement on a condo IF you are not buying an investment property... As long as you are owner occupying the condo, it is irrelevant. 51% occupancy pertains to investment property purchases. With 10% down you can do a limited review through Freddie Mac, and with 5% down it would be an expedited review through Fannie Mae, and some HOA issues would come into play, but occupancy would not be one of them...
If anyone has any questions about this information, you can contact me at
WJ Bradley Mortgage, LLC