There really is not a NO MONEY way to buy a home!!!

Down payment assistance, Florida Bond, USDA, VA- so many loans that we advertise as no money down!  I sell to a lot of single moms and first time homebuyers and these programs are great for them.  However, I make sure my marketing and discussions  provide a more realistic picture for a home buyer.  Sure, the loans are 0% down payment, but please note that there are other costs you must be prepared to pay UP FRONT when buying a home:
1) inspections- building, wdo, mold, septic, roof, etc....these can range from $95-$500 each.  Be sure you talk with your agent about what inspections you are going to need and want.
2) appraisal- in our area the appraisal must be paid for up front now and the average price is $450.
3) earnest money deposit- most sellers want a buyer to show good faith by putting up some kind of earnest money when entering into contract.  $500 might do it but $1000 is more common
4) closing costs- often a buyer can ask a seller to contribute to their closing costs and this is negotiated as part of the deal.  However, with the current market full of short sales and bank owned, if they do contribute the limit is usually 3% of the purchase price.
BEFORE getting your hopes up....talk with an agent about what it will take.  There are programs out there that allow very little out of pocket expense- I recently had a client close and he only spent $549- but you have to plan on investing some money!

  • October 03 2011 - Orlando
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Answers (5)

There are several ways to purchase a home without putting any money down. Feel free to call me and I can go over your options with you.
  • October 04 2011
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I hesitate to tell anyone who has not been able to save money for a down payment that they are ready for home ownership.

What happens when there is a loss of income?  Or the house does what houses tend to do-  spring unexpected costly surprises on the home owner?  Financial responsibility is indicated by the ability to not only save for a down payment but also to have some money in reserve.  Stuff happens and a down payment is an indication that the homeowner is somewhat financially prepared for the challenges of homeownership.

  • October 04 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
One of the sobering statistics is the correlation of lower down payments with bailing on homes.   I'd like to see a minimum of 10% down for all purchase programs, with the purchasers own money in the game there is less feeling of renting.



  • October 04 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"There are several ways to purchase a home without putting any money down. Feel free to call me and I can go over your options with you."

I am appalled that you would encourage that. Let me save someone the phone call and heartache. There are USDA qualifying loans that are zero down. There are VA loan with zero down. There are some community based programs for target groups like specific low income, teachers, fireman that are zero down.

All those zero down options still mean that you have to qualify for the loan, put money into inspections, pay for at least part of escrow and pay prorated taxes in many states upfront before you can close.

If you do not have ANY reserves of money, do not buy a house. The first repair that you have will mean a late payment to the bank and no agent that sold you that house will be around to loan you the money for the new water heater you need. Buying without financial stability is not smart and should not be encouraged by anyone. Those agents who do encourage it are self serving and should be ignored. 
  • October 04 2011
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I think Diana Boyesen said it best!  There is always going to be some money out of pocket... for something.... sometime...somewhere!
  • October 05 2011
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