One of the questions that we get a lot from Queens homebuyers is, How much do I need to put down?” This question is most common among first-time homebuyers. As a first time buyer, you’re probably excited because you’ve been saving for a while and now you’re wondering if you have enough to buy a place. For anyone who is curious about the minimum down payment requirements here in Queens, please continue reading. The information we’re sharing here is based on our experiences with home buyers here in Queens and it should give you an idea of how much you would need to put down if you want to buy a property.
Single Family Homes and Condos
Let’s say you’re interested in buying a single family property, or maybe a condo, they typically allow as as low as 3.5% percent down, these are usually FHA loans. If you get a SONYMA loan, then our understanding is that you can go as low as 2.5% down. Now, if you do the math based on a 3.5% down payment, then you can quickly figure how much you would need to put down in order to buy a property. For example, let’s say the property you’re interested in is $500K, then you just multiply $500K by 3.5% and you will see that you would need to put down at least $17,500 ($500K x 3.5%).
Let’s say you’re looking to buy a coop instead of a house or condo. Most coops tend to require a minimum 20% down payment so although the prices are usually lower, they do typically require a much higher down payment. There are some coops that allow a 10% down payment but they are not that common. In our experience we have not seen any coops in Queens that allow less than 10% down. For the most part, if you’re looking at buying a co-op, then you can expect to be required to put 20% down. Now, if you have minimal down payment, then your best bet is to inquire about FHA loans which is where you can put as low as 3.5% down. Obviously you can put more down if you like, but the minimum in our experience is 3.5%, or 2.5% if you qualify for a SONYMA loan.
Things to Consider
1) If you’re looking to buy an investment property, then you would need to put down at least 25-30% down. You cannot put 3.5% down on an investment property.
2) In terms of closing costs, although you would want to have your down payment and closing costs on hand, ideally, there are areas in Queens where seller concessions are very common and a seller concession allows you to roll your closing costs into the mortgage. This allows you to not have to come up with the closing costs out of pocket. So, let’s say you have the 3.5% down payment but don’t have enough for the closing costs, as long as you buy a property in an area where seller concessions are not uncommon, then you should still be able to buy something.
3) Rule of thumb for closing costs is 4-5% of the mortgage amount. So say the house costs $500K and you are putting 3.5% down, then the closing costs would be around $19,300 – $24,125. If you don’t have enough for the closing costs, then you would want to look into a seller concession to cover your closing costs.
4) Keep in mind that aside from saving up the down payment, you also want to make sure that your income, credit, debt to income ratio, etc. are in good standing. When you are set on buying, then it’s always a good idea to speak with a mortgage lender who can give you some good guidance regarding all of the other requirements.
Well, hope that answers the question. In short, if you’re wondering how much you need for a down payment on a house, you can go as low as 3.5% of the purchase price. If you’re looking to buy a co-op, then you would most likely need between 10-20% down. If have the down payment but don’t have enough for your closing costs, then you can always look into a seller concession. If you have any questions about buying, or if you would like to speak with a mortgage lender to see if you can qualify for a loan, feel free to Contact Us anytime :!