Mortgage down-payment options - low to no cost

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you're interested in buying a home but don't have a lot of money for a down payment, you may have some options to get into the home buyer's market.

Like many millennials, 25-year-old Sarah Ballard was tired of throwing away money on high rent and wanted to own her own apartment.

"I felt like the rental market was just going to go up in price, and I was going to be spending a lot of money without really a return on investment," says former renter, Sarah Ballard.

But even with a steady job, she didn't have enough for the 20% down payment, the amount required to avoid high payments and costly mortgage insurance. She was able to get a combination of low and zero interest loans to help her with her upfront costs.

"These programs are really intended to bring people into the housing market, who really have the basics in place," said Tobie Stanger. "They just need a little extra something to get them into housing."

You'll find the available programs at The site spells out opportunities for educators, firefighters and other professions.

Another resource of lower-to-moderate income buyers is a new mortgage called homeready. Applicants can resource rent from roommates and tenants with income.

Joan Carty helps home buyers snag zero percent interest loans and says it's important for counselors to work with applicants so that can understand how much they can afford.

"We're pretty straight forward with too because nobody is doing anybody any favors if they put them into the housing market, they buy a home, they can sustain it," says Carty.

No matter how you plan to pay for your home, financial experts say first time buyers should make sure their credit report is as good as possible. That will get you the best deal no matter who your lender is.

Down payment assistance programs are available and provide, on average, more than $11,000 to today's buyers of homes. Ask your mortgage lender or broker to see if you qualify.

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