Great question. Depends on how long you plan on owning the home.Paying off the loan fast is generally a good idea if you plan on being in the home for a long period of time. Having years of no loan payments is always a bonus, as the extra money can be used for other investments.Most home owners are only in a home on average of about 3 years. If this is the case, then I generally advise my clients to use their hard earned money for other investments that can yield better returns.As for a down payment, check with your local 1st time home buyer programs. Most will pay a portion, if not all of your down payment for you!Hope this helps.