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Buying

Where to Buy a Home If You Haven't Saved for a Big Down Payment

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If you've been saving to make a down payment on a home, you may not have to put money aside for as long as you'd thought, thanks to the average required down payment being much lower in some markets. And, according to recent research, the average required initial mortgage payment is only getting lower for hopeful homeowners.

For conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in the first quarter of 2016, average down payment percentages ebbed slightly to 16.64%. This figure is down from 17.46% in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 16.98% in the first quarter of 2015. The average down payment was subsequently down over the same time period from $51,721 to an average $49,839, but was up from the year-ago figure of $44,007.

These figures, according to the latest LendingTree national down payment report, also indicate the average down payment for all purchase mortgages such as FHA, VA, non-prime and jumbo mortgages in 2Q/16 was $44,058, accounting for 12.18% of the home's purchase price. And regarding just FHA mortgages, the average down payment was 8.74% ($16,998), a slight increase from the year ago figure. Meanwhile, the average 1Q/16 jumbo mortgage down payment was 23.89% ($194,950).

Complimenting its findings, LendingTree also released the markets where you can find this low-down-payment real estate. Below are the 10 cities with the lowest down payments as a percent of total mortgage.

Meanwhile, if you want to avoid having to put down a high down payment, don't look to put down roots in New York, where the average down payment is 19.74%, or $78,979.51. This was followed by California (19.56%/$84,728.78), Hawaii (19.44%/$58,404), New Jersey (19.29%/$64,579) and Washington D.C. (18.50%/$98,440.09). You may notice the actual average down-payment sum doesn't always correspond with the average down payment percentage, having to do with real estate prices. But, generally, places with higher home costs also demanded a higher down payment percentage.

Regardless of how much money you have saved, lenders will look at your credit report before granting a mortgage loan. Take a look at your credit reports and view two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com. Doing so will help you know if you need to address any errors on your report before applying for a mortgage. And doing what you can to improve your credit score before you apply will not only save you money in interest over the life of a loan, it could help you afford more house as well.

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More on mortgages & home buying from Credit.com:

How to Find & Choose a Mortgage Lender

How to Get a Loan Fully Approved

How to Search for Your Next Home