Of the 902 closed sales on homes in the Naples area for April 2017, 65.3 percent were cash sales and 34.7 percent were conventional mortgage sales, according to the latest report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR®). The prior month’s Market Report pointed out the history of cash sales in the area has decreased over the last several years and more buyers are financing the purchase of their homes: 73 percent cash sales in March 2015, 67 percent for March 2016, and 64 percent for March 2015. With a growing number of homebuyers turning to financing in order to purchase a home and a recent survey by real estate data provider Zillow reporting that more than two-thirds of renters consider setting aside money for a downpayment as the number one obstacle to entering the housing market, it is important for potential buyers to be aware of the options available to assist them in getting over the downpayment hurdle.
Here are some tips for potential homebuyers to consider in overcoming the downpayment hurdle include:
- Consider beginning to save early on.
- Carefully weigh loan options.
- Look into lenders offering loans through government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which only require a 3 percent downpayment or loans offered through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which require a 3.5 percent downpayment.
- Buyers who are U.S. Military Veterans, service members or residents of specific rural areas may not have a downpayment requirement at all, as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have zero-downpayment loan programs available for qualified borrowers.
- Consider using gift money from relative or friends toward the downpayment amounts or retirement savings.
- A large number of downpayment assistance programs exist across the nation as well, for borrowers with low to moderate income, teachers, firefighters, and other public service positions.
With industry leaders indicating a vast and growing number of potential homebuyers are currently interested in entering the housing market, as well as a decreasing number of cash sales in the Naples area, an increasing number of buyers looking to finance the purchase of a home, and clearly expressed concerns about challenges in saving enough money for a downpayment, a clear analysis of all of the options available to potential homebuyers is timely and essential. As the summer residential real estate season begins, potential homebuyers are encouraged to explore the many options available and carefully consider those options as far as requirements for qualification and what will best fit the individual current and future needs of each homebuyer.