7. Understand how different loan programs work
Spend a little time researching different loan options, like FHA vs. conventional, to decide how much of a down payment you'll need. While programs like FHA allow for lower down payments, they do have higher fees and the interest rate may be slightly higher than conventional options, so be sure to factor in all of the details before you decide what program works for you. Likewise, some lenders have down payment assistance programs, so be sure to ask your mortgage broker what's available before deciding your course of action. And, if you happen to be a veteran or married to one, VA loans offer even lower entry costs to home ownership.