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You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home.

The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.

The downsides of a small down payment are pretty well known. You’ll have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance for years, and the lower your down payment, the more you’ll pay. You’ll also be offered a lesser loan amount than borrowers who have a 20-percent down payment, which will eliminate some homes from your search.


The national average for home appreciation is about five percent. The appreciation is independent from your home payment, so whether you put down 20 percent or three percent, the increase in equity is the same. If you’re looking at your home as an investment, putting down a smaller amount can lead to a higher return on investment, while also leaving more of your savings free for home repairs, upgrades, or other investment opportunities.


Of course, your home payment options aren’t binary. Most borrowers can find some common ground between the security of a traditional 20 percent and an investment-focused, small down payment.

I can provide some answers as you explore your financing options or speak to Dean Wong, my Lender I have worked with my entire career.

Contact Thomas Ray for all your real estate needs!

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$1,679,000 - 3Br/2Ba -  for Sale in Malibu
Price $1,679,000
Beds 3
Baths 2
Living Area SqFt 1,450
Status Active Under Contract
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Property Type Single Family Residence
$1,499,000 - 2Br/3Ba -  for Sale in Malibu
Price $1,499,000
Beds 2
Baths 3
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Status Active
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Price $7,250,000
Beds 4
Baths 5
Living Area SqFt 3,302
Status Active
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Property Type Single Family Residence
$2,300,000 - 6Br/7Ba -  for Sale in Santa Monica
Price $2,300,000
Beds 6
Baths 7
Living Area SqFt 3,964
Status Active
MLS # 23-255407
Property Type Single Family Residence
$3,299,000 - 2Br/1Ba -  for Sale in Santa Monica
Price $3,299,000
Beds 2
Baths 1
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Property Type Single Family Residence
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