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Photo: SAUL LOEB (Getty Images) Buying a house is a complicated, expensive process, especially for buyers who can’t swing a “traditional” 20% down payment. You’re basically convincing a bank to lend you upwards of half a million dollars in many markets; if they don’t believe they can trust you to pay back that much money (plus interest), it’ll cost you even more in the form of mortgage insurance and other fees. All of this can leave low-to-moderate income prospective buyers feeling hopeless and discouraged. Housing prices in the United States aren’t exactly helping, either: In 2021, the median home sales price passed $400,000 for the first time in history. A 20% down payment on a $400,000 mortgage is $80,000—a truly ridiculous amount of money for all but a lucky few. But the good news is you don’t have to put 20% down in order to get a good (or at least acceptable) mortgage. Certain programs only require a 3–3.5% down payment; assuming a $400,000 sale price, that’s a much more realistic $12,000–$14,000. Even if you “only” have about $12,000 for a down payment (which is still a huge chunk of change), you can buy a house. You can buy one with no money down, too—here’s how. Research your options Mortgages are just really big loans. Unfortunately, that means there are about as many different mortgages as there are financial institutions that offer them, which creates a ton of legwork for prospective buyers. To make things a little simpler, the […]