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Deciding how much of a down payment to make on your home can be daunting. On the one hand, you want to put a much down as possible, because you're going to be paying the mortgage for thirty years (or at least fifteen). Yet you don't want to put down so much that you have to borrow Uncle Earl's pickup truck to move yourself, or you can't afford to plant any bulbs in your new garden. Figure your moving and closing costs carefully, then add a 'fudge factor' of 10-15% for things like dinner out because you can't find the box that holds the pots and pans. Don't put down so much that you're 'house poor,' but make that down payment as big as you can to keep the mortgage reasonable. If you put down 20% of the purchase price or more, you'll qualify for the best mortgage rate (all else being equal) and you won't have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|