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Up-Front Cash Requirements

The savings and cash you currently have available can be used to support your up-front payments such as the closing costs and down payment for your home. Consider what savings and cash you will have left after paying your up-front costs to support non housing-related expenses and emergencies (i.e. unexpected car repairs, credit card payments, car loans). Most lenders prefer that homeowners have three months of living expenses available after closing on the loan. The up-front cash requirements include:

Closing Costs - You need to pay these up-front costs when you close on your home. Closing costs generally depend on the location of the house and the type of loan program. There are opportunities to negotiate closing cost expenses with the seller and lender. Furthermore, there are opportunities to finance some portion of the closing costs as part of the loan amount.

Down Payment - This percentage of the sale price must be paid up-front and can vary by lender, location, and loan program. A higher down payment generally translates into lower loan interest rate requirements. While conventional loan down payments may be close to 20% of the sale price, government loans typically have lower down payment requirements. This allows potential homebuyers who normally cannot meet down payment requirements an opportunity to qualify for a mortgage. Keep in mind that down payments that are less than 20% of the sale price typically require mortgage insurance payments.