The USDA loan program and the VA loan program allow eligible buyers to buy a house with no money. Both are available to first-time home buyers and repeat buyers alike. But they have special requirements to qualify.
Not everyone will qualify for a zero-down mortgage. But it may still be possible to buy a house without paying money down if you choose a low-down-payment mortgage and use a government grant or loan to cover your upfront costs.
For example, home buyers using gift money for their down payment need to show get a gift letter from the donor. And the lender will want to see a clear paper trail showing where the funds came from and when they were deposited in your account.
The amount of money you could get varies by program, too. For instance, one down payment assistance loan in New York City can offer up to $100,000 for eligible buyers, while another in Arkansas tops out at $15,000.
FHA loans have a minimum 3.5 percent down payment requirement for borrowers with a credit score of 580 or higher. FHA loans have flexible credit score requirements. Borrowers with scores as low as 500 are eligible for approval if they invest a down payment of 10 percent or more.
The only way to get a mortgage through the major mortgage investors with no down payment is if you take out a government-backed loan. Government-backed loans are insured by the federal government. In other words, the government (along with your lender) helps foot the bill if you stop paying back your mortgage.
The government offers guaranteed loans to people who need financial assistance when buying a home. This means that government-backed loans are less risky for the lender, and they can expand their usual loan criteria to people with riskier financial profiles, such as borrowers with no down payment.
There are currently two types of government-sponsored loans that allow you to buy a home without a down payment: VA loans and USDA loans. Each loan has a very specific set of criteria you need to meet in order to qualify for a zero-down mortgage.
Government-backed USDA and VA loans can allow you to buy a home with $0 down. The fact that these loans are backed by the federal government allows lenders to be more lenient with down payment requirements. Both you and your home must meet USDA loan standards to qualify for a mortgage, and you must meet service requirements with a VA loan.
2 Client will receive a $3,000 credit toward down payment. Offer valid only for first-time home buyers when qualifying income is less than or equal to 140% AMI and when the property is located in an eligible county within the following metropolitan statistical areas: Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI, El Paso, TX, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX, McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX, Memphis, TN-MS-AR, Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD, St. Louis, MO-IL. Client is required to complete one-on-one Homebuyer Education Course with GreenPath facilitated by Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF). Offer valid on new loans locked on or after 2/28/2023. Offer valid on primary residence retail purchase loans only. Offer is not valid for team member or Schwab channel products. Offer is nontransferable and cannot be combined with any other discounts. Offer cannot be applied retroactively. Offer may not be redeemed for cash. Rocket Mortgage reserves the right to cancel this offer at any time. Acceptance of this offer constitutes the acceptance of these terms and conditions, which are subject to change at the sole discretion of Rocket Mortgage. Additional restrictions/conditions may apply. This is not a commitment to lend.
The primary way to get a mortgage with no down payment is with a government-backed loan. These loans are insured by the federal government, meaning the lender does not have to take on all of the risk if there is a default that leads to foreclosure. This encourages the lender to provide you with more favorable loan terms. There are several main options for a mortgage with no down payment that are backed by the government.
HFAs provide first-lien mortgage products for eligible borrowers that require very little money down and offer reduced interest rates, as well as down payment and closing cost assistance. Once these loans are made, HFAs buy them from the lenders.
HFAs also offer a grant or a second mortgage loan to cover your down payment and/or closing costs. Most HFAs require that these downpayment assistance programs be used in conjunction with an HFA loan.
But we also know that buying a house is a dream for a lot of people, and when you have a dream, you owe it to yourself to pursue every avenue. After all, it is possible to buy a home with no money down. So, put aside your preconceptions and think outside the box.
For most, the answer is usually no. However, there are some cases where you can buy a home with no money down. Two ways to do it are through Veterans Affairs (VA) loans and USDA loans. These government-backed mortgages can be difficult to qualify for.
Whether you're determining how much house you can afford, estimating your monthly payment with our mortgage calculator or looking to prequalify for a mortgage, we can help you at any part of the home buying process. See our current mortgage rates, low down payment options, and jumbo mortgage loans.
Active duty service-members, veterans and their family members are eligible for a VA loan, which is backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This allows qualifying buyers to purchase a home with no down payment and little-to-no closing costs.
If you don't qualify for one of these loans, there are other strategies you can use to come up with a down payment, such as seeing if you qualify for any down payment assistance programs offered by local nonprofits or your city or state housing agency. Some borrowers also receive assistance in the form of a gift from their loved ones.
VA loans are guaranteed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. These mortgages are available only to current and former service members who meet minimum service requirements. VA mortgage borrowers enjoy the ability to put no money down and interest rates that are typically lower than conventional mortgage rates.
FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration. They allow down payments as low as 3.5% and have less stringent credit requirements, making them a good option for first-time homebuyers or those with rocky credit histories.
Mortgages that conform to Federal Housing Finance Agency loan limits and the standards set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are known as conforming loans. With one of these mortgages, it's possible to buy a home with just 3% down.
Talk to an agent to get a referral to a lender in your area who is experienced with combining assistance programs. If you are a member of a special group, see what nonprofits offer help to purchase a home. If you qualify for more than one program, it can be a great way to make up a larger down payment.
Many real estate investors think that money will make or break a real estate deal. A lack of funds can stop a potential purchaser from bidding on a property. However, it is possible to purchase real estate with no money from the buyer's pockets. If the deal is right, the funding can easily fall into place.
Although there are many ways an investor can purchase real estate without handing over a down payment at settlement, it's important to understand the pros and cons of each type of agreement before signing on the dotted line.
Probably the easiest way to purchase a property with no money down is by borrowing the down payment. Either find a lender offering a low interest rate, or use a home equity or other line of credit loan, which will still have the tax benefits of a normal mortgage.
Another easy way to acquire property with no money down is with the help of the seller. For example, a seller may decline a down payment in return for higher monthly payments. Or, the seller may pay for the buyer's down payment in order to sell the property faster.
Along with everything else in a real estate contract, the amount of the down payment and who pays it is almost always negotiable. A buyer may elect that the seller pay the down payment, or give credit at closing for the buyer's down payment. A buyer could also request to pay the down payment in installments, whether in monthly installments or as a balloon payment at the end of the year.
Anything you own may be useful as a cash substitute for a no-money-down deal. For example, if the seller is planning to retire, your unused motor home would probably be much more valuable than a cash down payment. Cars, boats, campers, furniture and appliances are all acceptable replacements for a cash down payment.
Finding other cash buyers is another way to purchase a property with no money down. However, this could get messy as other hands get into the deal. To simplify this process, you can organize the deal on a smaller scale by bringing in one or two more people at the most. In return for their financing, you can promise to take on the responsibilities of putting together the deal and managing the real estate investment. You may also try to work out a similar deal with the current seller.
If you already own property, you could combine mortgages in order to provide the seller with cash at closing without using your own money. You could also suggest that the seller place a second mortgage on top of the first and keep the cash, while you, the buyer, assuming both loans.
There are certain buyers that may be more suitable for accepting no money down offers on a property than others. If a property has been on the market for a long time or is being advertised as a must sell, the seller may be more willing to negotiate. In addition, as with any real estate investment, always research the property before completing a sale.
Buying a home can be a major financial commitment. Aside from the ongoing costs of homeownership, the a down payment is one of the first and biggest financial barriers to owning the place you call home. The big price tag might have you wondering if you can buy a house with no money down. 59ce067264