How to Buy a New Home When You Don’t Have a Lot of Cash

How to Buy a New Home When You Don’t Have a Lot of Cash

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A new home in Plano, Tex. The federal government recently raised limits on conventional loans, allowing more borrowers to take advantage of certain government-backed mortgages.

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LM Otero/Associated Press

Buying a house can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have a lot of cash on hand for the down payment. If you’re a first-time home buyer worried about taking on a mortgage, check out the guide below. You’ll learn about the right questions to ask about a new neighborhood, lending programs that let you put as little as 3 percent down, and why you might want to trade your student debt for home debt.

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Ask the Right Questions

• There’s the standard checklist — the schools, the commute, the taxes — and then there’s our checklist: 43 questions to ask if you want to yield more happiness for less money. Read more »

Is a Mortgage With a Low Down Payment Right for You?

• Coughing up a 20 percent down payment can strain your finances — by some estimates it takes nearly 20 years to save enough to put down just 10 percent. But you may have options. Some programs make it easier for new home buyers without much cash on hand by letting them put as little as 3 percent down. But before you go down this route, there are some important questions to ask yourself. Read about the risks of a low-down-payment mortgage and learn how two couples made it work. Read more »

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