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The good news for homebuyers is that they may be able to avoid the standard 20 percent down payment. Sometimes lenders require as little as 5 percent down on conventional loans. But if you put down less than 20 percent of the sales price of the home, you likely will have to buy private mortgage insurance, or PMI.
The insurance is for the lender's protection in case the buyer cannot meet monthly mortgage payments and defaults on the home purchase loan. You can take about programs and home loan products that allow for lower down payments.
Just ask your lender about special programs that allow for lower down payments. Or contact government agenices that offer home loans. Often they allow smaller down payments. Home loans are offered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Administration, for example. If your lender requires PMI, find out about the costs and your monthly payment before making a decision.