Actually, you can put less the 20% down and not have mortgage insurance for the life of the loan. However, with anything less than 20% down, you will have mortgage insurance initially.
FHA just revised their guidelines, forcing you to have mortgage insurance for the life of the loan. Conventional loans however, there are a few different options, i.e., monthly premiums, single premiums, split premiums; depending on if the mortgage insurance is borrower paid or lender paid.
Call me and I can explain this better for you or I can send you some information via email.
Envoy Mortgage, Ltd.
NMLS# 947738 / AZ# 0921717