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Diane Lochner
MoneyMix Contributor 

You’re young and free to see where life takes you. Renting an apartment, or sharing a place with roommates is a great way to be independent and flexible. Chances are you and your friends are renters – and that’s not a bad thing. If you’re a renter, when the lease is up, you’ve got options.

But how do you know if owning a home is the right thing for you, right now? Isn’t owning a home a sign of being, you know, old? And why do some people say you’re "throwing your money away" if you rent?

what's a down payment again?

You might be able to get a mortgage with a lower down payment.You might have gotten your car with "no money down" but that won’t work for a house. Most people have to take out a big loan (a mortgage) to buy a house, and there’s a whole industry out there for just this purpose.

Your lender will want to you to kick in some of your own money up front – this is called a down payment. The size of your down payment might be 3 to 20 percent of the price of the home you’re looking at.

Let's say you're looking at an awesome $150,000 townhouse in a great part of town. Twenty percent of that is $30,000. That's a ton of money, especially if you're just starting out and trying to pay back student loans.

The good news is, you might be able to get a mortgage with a lower down payment. Because the government encourages home ownership as a way to build strong communities and families, there are a lot of programs out there for people like you--first-time home buyers--to help with down payments.


Published January 26, 2008

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I liked this article because it brings up a lot of points that a lot of first-time home-buyers don't always think about (such as closing costs, legal services, inspections, etc). Buying a house can be a great investment, but it's important for young people especially to know just how much it will cost.

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