How Much Does It Cost to Build a House? A Guide to Home Building Costs

How Much Does It Cost to Build a House? A Guide to Home Building Costs

If you’re in the market for a home, the thought of building your own house may have crossed your mind. Not only does building your own home take you out of the rat race of bidding for a home in a seller’s market, but you get the luxury of building your dream house to spec.

Building a home comes with a multitude of costs, including labor, materials, and land. The costs of all of these elements have risen in recent years along with everything else. The good news is that inflation slowed in 2023 and is expected to continue easing in 2024.

Let’s dive into how much you can expect to spend on building a home today.

Average Cost of Building a House

The cost to build a house (not including land) can range anywhere from $42,000 to $900,000-plus depending on the type and size of the house, where you build it, and how you choose to customize the home. On average, it costs around $329,000 to build a house in the U.S.

When calculating how much it will cost to build a house, you’ll want to consider how many bedrooms you’ll need, since this will impact the square footage and ultimate cost.

On average, building a new house costs $150 per square foot. Here’s a look at the average cost of building a house based on size.

Home Size Average Cost to Build
800 – 1,500 square feet (2 bedrooms) $122,000
1,000 – 2,500 square feet (3 bedrooms) $147,000
1,900 – 2,600 square feet (4 bedrooms) $285,000
2,500 – 3,500 square feet (5 bedrooms) $375,000




💡 Quick Tip: SoFi’s Lock and Look + feature allows you to lock in a low mortgage financing rate for 90 days while you search for the perfect place to call home.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


Typical Costs Associated With Building a Home

The lion’s share of your home building expenses will consist of land, labor, and materials. And, depending on market conditions when you decide to build a home, these costs can vary widely. Building a home can take many months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. In most cases, these expenses aren’t paid out in one lump sum, and you’ll find yourself having to budget over several months.

If you’re thinking of building a house and want to figure out how to properly allocate your funding over the life of the construction project, it’s a good idea to split the home construction project into individual segments. For ease of understanding, we’ve split construction costs into three phases:

•   Preparation costs

•   Construction costs

•   Post-construction costs

Preparation Costs

Preconstruction costs include the land, the initial costs to assemble a team for the construction project, and fees for permits and reviews that must be completed before you’re approved to proceed.

This phase can take several weeks to months. The timing will usually depend on the time to obtain all zoning and permit approvals as well as the availability of contractors.

Purchasing the Land

Before you can build a home you’ll typically need to buy a plot of land, which can range anywhere from $3,000 to $150,000 depending on the size of the lot and the location.

If you already own the land where you want to build the house, you’ll save a significant amount of the total cost of your new home build.

Water & Sewer Inspection

Local ordinances will require professional inspections of water and sewer lines before you break ground. Not only is this mandatory, but it’s also a good idea to ensure that everything is in good working order to avoid costly future problems with your water and sewer lines.

Getting utility connections professionally inspected can run around $8,400.

Architect and Home Planning Fees

Hiring an architect to create a plan for your home can run around 10% of the total cost to build the home. The cost can range anywhere from $2,000 and $20,000 depending on the complexity of your intended home and the local market. Homebuyers interested in smaller or simpler home plans can cut costs by buying pre-designed stock blueprints for as little as $500 or considering a prefabricated home.

Getting Permits & Approvals

Building a new home requires a building permit and other approvals. The cost of obtaining a building permit varies widely but averages from $1,200 to $2,000, depending on your municipality.

Getting the proper permits and zoning approvals is usually one of the most time-consuming parts of the home-building process. Working with your construction team to obtain these permits as early as possible will help to avoid delays.

Recommended: How Long Does It Take to Build a House?

Construction Costs

Construction costs encompass all the expenses of breaking ground, constructing the framework, and erecting the structure, as well as paying for all the materials and labor.

Erecting the structure and ensuring that all of the utilities are hooked up can take months, depending on how complex your home plan is. To mitigate the possibility of delays, most home construction projects begin in the spring and (ideally) plan to wrap up before the end of fall.

Excavating and Laying the Foundation

If the land hasn’t already been prepared for building, you’ll need to have it cleared, or excavated. This can cost around $2,300. After that, the crew can lay the foundation, which can be as simple as a concrete slab or involve building out a basement, which increases the cost. On average, a foundation costs around $4 per square foot. The average foundation for a new home runs around $8,900.

Putting Up the Frame

The frame of your home makes up its skeletal structure and is vital to its structural integrity. Framing costs will vary widely based on the size of the property, choice of materials, and the market costs for obtaining the materials.

On average, you can expect to pay between $7 and $16 per square foot for framing. The average cost to frame a new house ranges from $20,000 to $50,000.

Installing Electrical

The average cost of installing an electrical system in a new home ranges between $7,000 and $13,000.

This includes the cost of hiring licensed electricians, having them install wiring, outlets, switches, and electrical panels throughout your new home to code. The cost depends on your area, the power needs of your home, and whether you choose to install any bells and whistles like backup generators or solar panels.

Installing Plumbing

The average cost of installing a plumbing system in a new home ranges from $1,500 to $17,500.

Licensed plumbers will install piping throughout your home and connect it to the public water and sewer system. Like the rest of your construction expenses, your plumbing expenses will vary depending on the size of your property. It will also depend on how many water hookups you’ll need, the plumbing materials used (PVC pipes cost much less than copper), and the water capacity of the system you choose to install.

Recommended: 12 Ways to Reduce Your Water Bill and Save Money

Installing HVAC System

Installing a new heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system in your home can run anywhere from $5,000 to $34,000. The cost of a system that can adequately heat your house during the winter and cool it during the summer can vary widely. Generally the larger your home, the more expensive your system is likely to be.

Installing the Insulation, Drywall, and Flooring

Insulation, drywall, and flooring can significantly add to the cost of building a home. These costs break down as follows:

•   Insulation: $3,000 to $10,000

•   Drywall: $2.25 per square foot or $15,550 on average

•   Flooring: $1 per square foot for synthetic materials (like laminate); $10-plus per square foot or for natural solid hardwood plank

Proper insulation of your home will go a long way toward ensuring that it retains heat in the winter and stays cool in the summer. Installing drywall and flooring gives shape to your home and a canvas with which you can begin to paint.

Expect costs for all three services to fluctuate with the size and location of your home. While drywall costs remain fairly consistent, insulation and flooring costs can vary by geography. If you choose to go with tiles and hardwood flooring in sections of your home, expect to pay a premium for it, especially when compared with linoleum or vinyl.

Roofing

The installation of a brand-new roof costs an average of $8,500, but will depend on the type of roofing material you choose. The standard roofing material is asphalt shingles, which costs around $1.50 to $5.50 per square foot (including installation).

Doors, Windows, and Finishing the Exterior

Finishing the exterior of your new home involves installing siding, trim, windows, and doors. We’ve broken down these average costs as follows.

•   Doors: $250 (interior doors); $400 to $3,500 (exterior doors)

•   Windows: $150 to $1,500 (depending on the style and window type)

•   Exterior siding: $2 to $9 per square foot

•   Trim: $1,500

Single-pane windows and doors with cheap weather stripping are more likely to leak cold air in the winter, contributing to higher heating bills. Expect to pay extra for solid timber doors, double-paned windows, and high-tech garage door systems.

Post-Construction

Now that you’ve got your structure in place, it’s time to install the cosmetic finishes that will make your home shine. This includes paint, appliances, lighting, and home fixtures.

This stage is your chance to brand your home with a personality of its own.

Kitchen, Bathroom, & Light Fixtures

Plumbing fixtures include sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, and faucets, and all together can run you around $5,000. Lighting fixtures for a new home can range anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000.

These expenses can vary based on the size of your home, how many bathrooms you have, and the quality and materials of your chosen fixtures.

Painting

The cost of labor and paint required to finish the interior of a new home will depend on the size of the home and whether you choose to paint the interior of your home yourself or hire painters. If you opt to DIY, you could spend as little as $300. If you hire a professional, the cost to paint a house could run as high as $28,000 for a large home with a lot of molding and trim.

Keep in mind that higher-quality paint is usually thicker and lasts longer than cheaper brands.

Countertops and Cabinets

Costs of countertops and cabinets can range from $100 to $1,230 per linear foot depending on materials, quality, and finish.

Expect to pay up for premium options like granite countertops and kitchen islands when compared with basic materials like wood, concrete, and composite. You’ll also typically pay more for custom products than you will for stock items.

Appliances

Appliances like cooking ranges, refrigerators, and washing machines/dryers can cost $3,000 to $15,000-plus total depending on the features you want for each machine.

Just a refrigerator can cost as little as $500 for a basic unit to upwards to $12,000 for a commercial-grade model designed for residential homes. The installation of these machines is fairly straightforward, so expect most of the costs to be for the appliances themselves.

Recommended: Are Home Warranties Worth It?

Landscaping

Landscaping work for a brand-new home costs an average of $8,200.

These costs will need to be paid if you don’t want your property to sit on top of a dirt patch. Ground will need to be moved and your lawn will need to be properly seeded to ensure that it comes in green and even in the spring. These costs can be higher still if you want to add flower beds, new trees, or hedgerows.

If you want the help of a landscape architect to create an outdoor space with curb appeal, expect to pay $70 to $150 per hour.

Driveway

Putting in a new driveway can cost about $4,400. This expense can vary, however, depending on the size of your driveway and whether you opt for gravel or paved. A gravel driveway may cost one-third of what a fully paved driveway costs.

Other Factors That Can Affect the Cost of Building a House

There are a number of additional factors you’ll want to keep in mind when building a home, as they may influence your input costs and long-term home value. They include your chosen area, the size of the house, and market temperature and trends.

Real Estate Trends

These are market-driven trends that you have little to no control over as a homebuyer. They include mortgage rates, the balance between home supply and demand in your area, and the general direction of home prices near you.

Overall, rising mortgage rates tend to hurt demand, as higher rates increase borrowing costs for prospective homebuyers. Your borrowing costs could rise as well if your home building project gets delayed.

Demand and home prices in your area will affect land values as well as the potential growth in your home’s value after you complete construction. Rising home values may drive up the expense of your home building project, and indirectly drive up land costs in your area.


💡 Quick Tip: To see a house in person, particularly in a tight or expensive market, you may need to show the real estate agent proof that you’re preapproved for a mortgage. SoFi’s online application makes the process simple.

Living Expenses and Emergency Costs

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an owner-built home can take nearly 12 months to complete. While you’ll likely have budgeted your home building costs over that period, make sure to factor in your living expenses as well.

You’ll need to ensure you’ve budgeted enough to feed and house your family for months, with money to spare, should the build be delayed. Construction projects can be delayed for any number of reasons; uncooperative weather is a common one.

In some instances, things like spikes in fuel costs and construction materials can cause unexpected budget increases, particularly if you’re planning on building in a particularly remote area. Getting work crews and building materials out there can cost time and money; expect to be billed for that time.

If you’re hoping to buy and sell at the same time, that takes strategy and timing.

Explore SoFi’s Home Financing Options

Building a home is the ultimate way to get what you want in a dream home. SoFi does not issue construction loans but does offer construction to permanent financing when the property is complete.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.

SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.

FAQ

Is it cheaper to build or buy a house?

It depends on where you live. Building from scratch can be cheaper in areas where home prices have remained stubbornly high. In some regions, however, buying is more affordable than building.

The states where you can save by building tend to be the West and South Atlantic. In the Midwest, on the other hand, you may be better off buying an existing home than building from scratch.

What’s the lowest possible amount I can use to build a house?

This depends on the location you choose and the cost of labor and materials in your area. You might be able to build a simple tiny house or repurposed shipping container for under $50,000. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need land to build on, which can cost more than that, as well as all building permits (which can cost up to $3,000).

Is it possible to get a loan to build a house?

Yes, some mortgage lenders offer construction loans to build a house from scratch. With this type of loan, money is usually advanced incrementally during construction, as the home-building project progresses. Typically, you only pay interest during the construction period. Once the construction is over, the loan amount becomes due, and it is converted into a regular mortgage.


Photo credit: iStock/Bouillante

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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A Guide to Mortgage Points

A Guide to Mortgage Points

If you’re shopping for a home loan, you may be wondering if using mortgage points to “buy down” your interest rate is a good move for you.

The answer is … it’s complicated.

Whether you’re buying or refinancing your home, purchasing mortgage points from your lender can lower your monthly payment and reduce the overall amount of interest you’ll pay on your loan. And that’s certainly an appealing prospect.

But it’s important to understand how points work — how much they can cost and how much they might save you over the life of your loan — before you decide to hand over that extra cash up front at your closing.

What Are Mortgage Points?

Mortgage points, also known as discount points, may be used by a borrower to prepay some of the interest on a home loan in exchange for a lower mortgage rate. The borrower pays more up front (the points are paid as a fee at closing) but can end up saving money over time because the interest rate is then reduced for the life of the loan.


💡 Quick Tip: SoFi’s Lock and Look + feature allows you to lock in a low mortgage financing rate for 90 days while you search for the perfect place to call home.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


How Do Mortgage Points Work?

Lenders typically base their interest rate offers on several factors, including a borrower’s credit profile and current market rates. But once you receive that initial offer, your lender also may give you the opportunity to buy down your rate through the use of mortgage points. (If the lender doesn’t bring it up, you can ask.)

Every point purchased reduces the interest rate a borrower pays by a predetermined percentage, which can vary from one lender to the next. But let’s say your lender offers you an initial rate of 3.25% and provides a 0.25% rate reduction if you purchase one discount point. If you decide to buy the point, your rate would then be 3%.

Each point you buy typically costs 1% of the amount you’re borrowing, and that money is due up front. So, for example, if your loan is for $200,000, a point will cost $2,000 at closing. If that seems too steep, you may be able to purchase a fraction of a point. A half-point in this scenario would cost $1,000, or three-quarters of a point would be $1,500.

How Do Points Affect Your Mortgage?

Here’s a hypothetical example to illustrate how buying one point could reduce the cost of a 30-year, fixed-rate $200,000 mortgage. (This is a bare-bones example, so the payment amount includes principal and interest only.)

Discount points purchased None 1 point ($2,000)
Loan principal $200,000 $200,000
Interest rate 3.25% 3%
Monthly payment $870 $843
Total interest paid over life of the loan $113,348 $103,555
Total saved over life of the loan None $9,793

Keep in mind that the borrower in this scenario would have to stay with the loan for the entire 30-year term to get the full savings — and that can be rare these days. Homeowners only stay in a home for an average of eight years, and many refinance their home loans.

That’s why it’s important to factor in your “break-even point” — when the savings from the lower mortgage cost offset what you paid for the discount points — before you make your decision.


💡 Quick Tip: Generally, the lower your debt-to-income ratio, the better loan terms you’ll be offered. One way to improve your ratio is to increase your income (hello, side hustle!). Another way is to consolidate your debt and lower your monthly debt payments.

What Is the Break-Even Point?

Paying points on a mortgage can lower your monthly payment and save you thousands of dollars — if you keep the same loan long enough to recover the money you paid up front. If you plan to move or refinance before you reach and pass that threshold, paying points may not make sense.

To calculate the approximate point at which you would get back what you spent on prepaid interest, you can divide the amount you paid for any points by the amount you’ll save each month on your payment. For example, as noted in the chart above, if you purchased one point for $2,000 at closing, you’ll save $27 each month. Divide $2,000 by $27 and you’ll see you can expect to break even in 74 months — or about six years. If you plan to stay in your home much longer than that, buying down your rate could be worth considering.

Can You Buy Points for an ARM?

You can buy points if you decide to go with an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) instead of a fixed-rate mortgage. But it may not be worth it if the points apply only to the ARM’s initial interest rate, which typically lasts for three, five, seven, or maybe ten years. If the rate goes up after that and you decide to refinance, you could lose out on the savings you hoped to get when you paid for the points.

Recommended: How an Interest-Only Mortgage Works

Are Mortgage Points Tax Deductible?

Discount points, which are considered prepaid interest, may be deducted as home mortgage interest if you itemize deductions on Schedule A of your Form 1040. But you’ll need to meet certain criteria in order to deduct mortgage points and you may not be able to deduct all of the mortgage interest and points in the year you paid them.

It’s important to note that only discount points, which represent prepaid interest, are tax deductible. “Origination points,” which also may be referred to as mortgage points, are not tax deductible. These points, which you’ll also pay at closing, refer to the various fees lenders may charge in preparing your mortgage (such as processing, underwriting, administration, or document preparation costs).

Your accountant or tax preparer should be able to answer your questions if you aren’t clear about the amount you can deduct on your annual return.

Is There a Limit on the Points You Can Buy?

The maximum number of points you can purchase to reduce your interest rate may differ based on factors like the financial institution, type of loan you choose, or how much you need to borrow. According to a survey of lenders performed weekly by Freddie Mac, the average number of points reported on 30-year, fixed-rate conventional loans in 2022 was 0.9.

Benefits and Risks of Mortgage Points

Here are some things to consider when you’re deciding if buying points makes financial sense for you.

How Long Do You Plan to Stay in the Home?

If you run the numbers and think you’ll keep your loan past your break-even point, it could be worth paying extra up front. But if it’s a starter home, or you expect to relocate for your career, buying points may not be prudent.

Do You Have Plenty of Money Saved?

Homeownership can be expensive. Are you certain you have enough saved to make a decent down payment, pay for points as well as other closing costs, and still have funds in reserve for the inevitable expenses related to homeownership? If not, you may want to reconsider the benefits of buying down your interest rate.

Did the Seller Agree to Pay Some Closing Costs?

If the seller agreed to pay some or all of your closing costs, you may be able to negotiate discount points as part of that offer.

Do You Plan to Make Extra Payments?

Paying for points could be a smart strategy if you expect to hold on to the same loan for a long time. However, if your goal is to pay off your mortgage early — perhaps by paying more toward the loan principal whenever possible — points may not offer the savings you expected.

Would the Money Be Better Spent on Your Down Payment?

If you have plenty of money saved and you’re trying to decide between increasing your down payment or buying points, you may want to run the numbers to determine which choice will give you a better return on your investment.

If your time horizon is short, you may save more by making a bigger down payment. If you plan to stick around for several years at least, you may choose to put your money toward discount points.

Remember, depending on the type of loan you have, if you make a down payment that’s less than 20%, your lender probably will require that you purchase private mortgage insurance. PMI could add about 0.3% to 1.5% to the cost of your mortgage. And you’ll likely have to pay it every year until your equity in the home reaches 20%.

Pros and Cons of Mortgage Points

Pros

Cons

You can lower your monthly mortgage payment High up-front costs can make closing even more expensive
You may be able to save on interest over the life of your loan Could deplete cash needed for furniture, renovations, moving, etc.
Discount points may be tax deductible for those who itemize Could lose money if you sell or refinance before breaking even

Ready to Go Rate Shopping?

Make sure when you shop rates, you’re comparing apples to apples. Some lenders may offer an interest rate that appears lower than others but has a fraction of a point or a point tied to it. If two lenders are offering a 3% interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, but one is charging a point to get that rate and one isn’t, the one that isn’t charging the point is offering you a more affordable deal.

Be cautious when comparing mortgage rates: If it isn’t clear how much you’ll pay to borrow, you can ask a loan officer to walk you through your loan estimate and/or to calculate your costs based on different time frames. Lenders are required to disclose information about their products in a way that allows borrowers to make meaningful comparisons.

The Takeaway

What’s the point of mortgage points? They allow homebuyers to reduce their loan’s interest rate by paying some of the interest up front. Buying discount points can save you money on interest over time, but only if you keep the loan long enough to recover the upfront cost.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.


SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.


Photo credit: iStock/Prostock-Studio

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

+Lock and Look program: Terms and conditions apply. Applies to conventional purchase loans only. Rate will lock for 91 calendar days at the time of preapproval. An executed purchase contract is required within 60 days of your initial rate lock. If current market pricing improves by 0.25 percentage points or more from the original locked rate, you may request your loan officer to review your loan application to determine if you qualify for a one-time float down. SoFi reserves the right to change or terminate this offer at any time with or without notice to you.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

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How to Lower Down Payment Requirements in 2024

If you think you need a down payment of 20% of a property’s price in order to start home shopping, think again. Most homebuyers put down a significantly smaller amount. Opting for a lower down payment has the benefit of getting you into a home sooner than if you scrimped and saved for years. And you might reap the benefit from market appreciation as soon as you own a property.

Prospective homeowners may explore such options as mortgages with lower down payments (some are even available with 0% down to qualified borrowers), as well as down payment assistance programs.

Learn more here, including:

•   What is a down payment?

•   How much money should you put down to buy a house?

•   How can you lower down payment requirements when buying a property?

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


What Is a Down Payment?

First, the basics: What exactly is a down payment? A down payment is the amount of money that goes paid, in cash, toward the purchase price of the home. It must cover the gap between the purchase price of the home and the amount of the mortgage.

A down payment determines what kind of loan you can get, whether or not you’ll pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), what your monthly payment will be and even what your interest rate will be. A down payment doesn’t include closing costs.


💡 Quick Tip: Don’t overpay for your mortgage. Get a competitive rate by shopping around for a home loan.

How Much Should You Put Down on a House?

You might be wondering how much is a down payment and how long it will take you to save that down payment amount for. Here are some options to consider when it comes to down payment amounts:

•   20% Down payment: Many people believe mortgage lenders say this is the amount they must come up with, though that is not true. Yes, a bigger down payment lowers your mortgage. Your monthly mortgage payment is lower because of your higher down payment, and you’ll pay less interest over the life of the loan. Also, when your down payment is above 20%, your lender does not require you to purchase PMI, which can save you hundreds of dollars each month.

But paying 20% can take a lot of cash out of your pocket when you buy your home. For example, 20% on a home that costs $400,000 is $80,000 dollars. There are many people who want to buy a property, but simply can’t come up with that amount of cash or at least not until they’ve saved for a considerable amount of time.

•   8% Down payment: This is the average down payment on a house for first-time homebuyers, according to the National Association of Realtors®. (For repeat homebuyers, the figure jumps to 19%.) Making this much of a down payment means you won’t avoid PMI in most cases, but you’ll be able to buy a home with a smaller down payment and without having to save as much money. For a house that costs $400,000, that’s $32,000 you need to come up with.

•   3% to 5% Down payment: With a down payment between 3% and 5%, you’ll have a higher monthly payment because your loan amount is higher than if you were able to make a larger down payment. You’ll also pay more each month because of the PMI payment. Lower down payments mean you’ll also pay more interest over the life of the loan.

However, the main benefit of a low-down-payment loan is you’re able to buy a home sooner than if you wait to save a full 20%. For a $400,000 home, a 3% down payment is $12,000 and a 5% down payment is $20,000. Some loans have the option of eliminating PMI once the loan’s remaining principal balance drops to or below 80% of the original mortgage.

•   0% Down payment: Zero down payment options come with higher monthly payments, and there may be certain restrictions or qualifications (say, a certificate of eligibility for military members). They may be niche programs specific to a group of people or locality. Some zero-down programs do not require PMI, but may have an upfront cost to fund their own mortgage insurance, like USDA loans (more on those in a minute).

Considerations to Determine Your Down Payment

The large amount of cash typically needed makes first time homebuyers wonder how they can afford a down payment and if it’s possible to figure out how to lower a down payment on a house. A couple of points to consider:

•   It is possible to get a lower mortgage payment by paying down principal on your home with a larger down payment. A 20% down payment on a house eliminates the need to pay PMI every month, which saves you even more on your monthly payment. In this way, a larger down payment can benefit your cash flow and overall financial situation.

•   However, 20% of the price of a home in your market may be hard to save for. You can learn how to buy a house with no money down, but there are also 3%, 3.5%, or 5% down payment options available. A lower down payment may be able to help you buy a home sooner. You can begin reaping the benefits of home ownership that much soon and hopefully your home’s value will rise, contributing to your personal wealth.

Recommended: First-Time Home Buyer Programs

How to Lower Down Payment Requirements?

If you’re moving towards purchasing a home, you might be wondering if you can lower your down payment before closing. Generally speaking, you have a handful of options for lowering your minimum down payment amount requirement as you take out a home mortgage loan and become a homeowner.

Buy a Home in an Area Approved for USDA Loans

USDA loans have 0% down payment requirements, so if you can find a home in an area approved by USDA (typically but not always in a rural location), you may be able to get a 0% down payment loan. For the USDA loan, there are property and income requirements which are determined by the county you live in (or want to live in).

Use a VA Loan to Buy a Home

Qualifying veterans, active duty, National Guard, and Reserve members of the military can use a VA loan, a mortgage that comes with zero-down-payment financing.


💡 Quick Tip: Apply for a VA loan and borrow up to $1.5 million with a fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage. The flexibility extends to the down payment, too — qualified VA homebuyers don’t even need one!†^

Pay the Minimum Amount for a Down Payment

One solution is to look for a loan without potentially restrictive eligibility requirements, as with a USDA or VA loan, and instead shop around for a loan that has low down payment policies. Many lenders offer mortgages with as little as 3% down, which may work well for some homebuyers.

Find a Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Program

Down payment assistance programs vary from area to area as far as requirements and amounts go. If you really need down payment assistance, try to buy a home in an area that offers one of these options. DPAs are usually reserved for first-time homebuyers or low- to moderate-income buyers. They typically come in three forms:

•   Second mortgage. DPAs are often offered in the form of a second mortgage with low or zero interest rates. Some second mortgages may not need to be repaid after living in the home for a certain period of time, while others may only need to be repaid when the property is sold.

•   Grant. With a grant, the money you receive is not expected to be repaid. However, there may be requirements for living in the home as a primary residence for a certain number of years for the grant to be forgiven.

•   Tax credit. Tax credits can reduce the amount of federal tax you owe if the local housing finance agency (HFA) issues you a mortgage credit certificate. This certificate can free up money for down payment and closing costs.

Some examples of DPA programs across the U.S. include:

•   Kentucky: Borrowers can receive up to $10,000 repayable over a 10-year period at 3.75% interest via the Kentucky Housing Corporation.

•   California: CalHFA has down payment assistance loans of up to the lesser of 3.5% of the purchase price or appraised value to qualifying homebuyers.

•   New York City: The HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program offers up to $100,000 for first-time homebuyers who qualify.

•   Montana: Borrowers can qualify for up to $15,000 in assistance for a down payment from Montana Housing. Repayment is either due when the home is sold or in the form of a 15-year loan.

•   Chenoa Fund: The Chenoa Fund is a nationwide down payment assistance program for creditworthy individuals on FHA loans up to 5% of the down payment needed for low- to moderate-income households. Both repayable and forgivable options are available.

In some areas, DPA programs can be hard to find or difficult to qualify for. Your lender can be an excellent resource if you need help buying a home with a small down payment. Discuss options with a representative and see what is available.

Negotiate for Lender Credits

Lenders want your business, especially in a high-rate environment. You can ask for credits to be applied to your closing costs. When your closing costs are covered by the lender, you can put more of your money toward your down payment.

Ask for Seller Concessions

When you negotiate the purchase of property, you can ask for seller concessions. These typically determine home’s purchase price and which closing costs the seller is willing to pay. Like lender credits, you can put more of your own money towards the down payment when a seller can cover some of your closing costs.

Ask for a Gift from Family

Of course, not every prospective homebuyer is blessed with a relative who has money in the bank they might give you or lend to you with generous repayment terms. But if you are in a spot and unable to come up with the funds otherwise, you might see if anyone is able and willing to help you out.

The Takeaway

While they may come with higher monthly mortgage payments, lower down payment mortgages can help borrowers buy homes sooner. Lowering your down payment requires a good amount of research on the part of the borrower, exploring different loans, programs, and other options to help you afford a property.

Even then, you may not find a perfect solution. That’s why it can be important to choose a mortgage partner who’s willing to be with you every step of the way.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.

SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.

FAQ

How much money to put down on a house in 2024?

Deciding on how much money to put down depends on your individual financial situation, the area in which you live, and programs you’re able to qualify for. While putting down 20% could save you the money you would pay towards PMI, you may be able to get into a house sooner by paying a lower down payment amount (from 0% to 3.5%). First-time homebuyers are currently putting down 8% on average.

How can I get my house down payment lowered?

To get your down payment lowered, you can try: financing with a zero-down loan (such as a USDA or VA loan), asking for seller concessions, negotiating for lender credits, and looking for down payment assistance programs.

Will mortgage interest rates go down 2024?

It is looking likely that mortgage interest rates will stabilize or decline. At the start of 2024, both the Mortgage Bankers Association and Fannie Mae were calling for rates to decline to the 6% to 6.5% range in the year ahead.

Does having a cosigner lower your down payment?

A cosigner can help you qualify for a mortgage, but it won’t change the requirements of the mortgage. Different loan programs will each have their own down payment requirements.


Photo credit: iStock/aydinmutlu

*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


Veterans, Service members, and members of the National Guard or Reserve may be eligible for a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans are subject to unique terms and conditions established by VA and SoFi. Ask your SoFi loan officer for details about eligibility, documentation, and other requirements. VA loans typically require a one-time funding fee except as may be exempted by VA guidelines. The fee may be financed or paid at closing. The amount of the fee depends on the type of loan, the total amount of the loan, and, depending on loan type, prior use of VA eligibility and down payment amount. The VA funding fee is typically non-refundable. SoFi is not affiliated with any government agency.
^SoFi VA ARM: At the end of 60 months (5y/1y ARM), the interest rate and monthly payment adjust. At adjustment, the new mortgage rate will be based on the one-year Constant Maturity Treasury (CMT) rate, plus a margin of 2.00% subject to annual and lifetime adjustment caps.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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Mortgage Fraud Need-to-Knows

Mortgage Fraud Need-to-Knows

What is mortgage fraud? Mortgage fraud refers to lying or omitting information to fund or insure a mortgage loan. It results in billions of dollars in annual losses nationwide. In the second quarter of 2023, 0.75% of all mortgage applications were estimated to contain fraud, which is about 1 in 134 applications, according to CoreLogic. Rates of fraud were higher for two- to four-family properties than for single-family homes. The top states for mortgage application fraud in 2023 were New York and Florida.

Types of Mortgage Fraud

The FBI investigates two distinct areas of mortgage fraud: fraud for profit and mortgage fraud schemes used for housing.

Fraud for Profit

The FBI says that those who commit this type of mortgage fraud are often industry insiders. Current investigations and reporting indicate that a high percentage of mortgage fraud involves collusion by bank officers, appraisers, mortgage brokers, attorneys, loan originators, and other professionals in the industry. The FBI points out that fraud for profit is not about getting a home, but manipulating the mortgage process to steal cash and equity from lenders and homeowners.

Fraud for Housing

It’s not only industry insiders who can look to milk the system. With fraud for housing, the perpetrators are borrowers who take illegal actions in order to acquire or maintain ownership of a house. They could do this by lying about income or presenting false information about assets on their loan application, for example. One area where fraud is on the increase in recent years is occupancy misrepresentation, in which an investor claims that an investment property is their primary residence in order to get a more favorable mortgage rate.


💡 Quick Tip: You deserve a more zen mortgage. Look for a mortgage lender who’s dedicated to closing your loan on time.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


Why Is Mortgage Fraud Committed?

Borrowers who know they are not really mortgage-ready — perhaps because of a poor credit history, a low credit score, or a nothing-to-brag-about salary that would likely get them the thumbs down from a lender — may be driven to try to enhance their chances of getting a loan, even by illegal means.

As for industry professionals, be it appraisers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, or anyone who has a role in the home buying and selling process, they could be motivated by the almighty dollar. If they can look the other way to get the transaction done, or manipulate facts so they get their piece of the action, they may do so.

What Are the Penalties for Mortgage Fraud?

Mortgage fraud is serious. It’s typically a felony. Conviction for federal mortgage fraud can result in a federal prison sentence of 30 years; state convictions can last a few years. If the crime is a misdemeanor and the amount involved is less than $1,000, there can be a one-year sentence.

A conviction on a single count of federal mortgage fraud can result in a fine of up to $1 million. State fines can range from a few thousand dollars for a misdemeanor to $100,000 or more for a felony. Those found guilty can expect to pay restitution to compensate the victims and to be on probation following jail time.

Expect to pay restitution to compensate the victims and to be on probation following jail time.

Types of Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage fraud comes in many flavors. Scammers are big on creativity. The FBI has a list of common mortgage fraud schemes and scams to watch out for. Here are a few of theirs and others to keep in mind.

Property Flipping

There’s nothing innately evil about flipping properties. In fact, adding investment properties to your portfolio can be a way to build wealth if you’re good at it. But then there’s the sinister side of flipping. It goes something like this: A property is purchased below the market price and immediately sold for profit, typically with the help of a shady appraiser who puffs up the value of the property. This is illegal.

Equity Skimming

The FBI explains how this works: An investor may use a straw buyer, false income documents, and false credit reports to obtain a mortgage loan in the straw buyer’s name. After closing, the straw buyer signs the property over to the investor in a quit-claim deed, which relinquishes all rights to the property and provides no guarantee to title. The investor does not make any mortgage payments and rents the property until foreclosure takes place several months later.

Asset Rental

It’s one thing to borrow something blue on your wedding day, and quite another to borrow or rent the assets of your best friend or loved one to make yourself look better in the eyes of a lender. You “borrow” the asset, maybe a hefty chunk of cash, and after the mortgage closes, you give it back to your partner in crime.

Inflated Appraisals

Appraisers have the keys to the kingdom. They state the fair market value of a home. Crooked appraisers can do a couple of things that are illegal: They can undervalue the property so that a buyer gets a “deal,” or more often, they overstate the value of the property. The goal is to help a buyer or seller, or a homeowner planning to refinance or tap home equity.

False Identity/Identity Theft

Identity theft is an epidemic. According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2022, it received over 1.1 million reports of identity theft.

Scammers use financial information like Social Security numbers, stolen pay stubs, even fake employment verification forms to get a fraudulent mortgage on a property they do not own. If you’ve been a victim, report identity theft as soon as possible.

Foreclosure Scams

Talk about kicking somebody when they’re down. Predators seek out those who are in foreclosure or at risk of defaulting on their loan and tell them that they can save their home by transferring the deed or putting the property in the name of an investor. It can sound rational when you’re desperate.

The perpetrator cashes in when they sell the property to an investor or straw borrower, creating equity using a fraudulent appraisal and stealing the seller proceeds or fees paid by the homeowners. The homeowners are typically told that they can pay rent for at least a year and repurchase the property when their credit has improved.

But that’s not how the story goes. The crooks don’t make the mortgage payments, and the property will likely wind up going into foreclosure.

Air Loan

This may as well be in a movie, because nothing is real with this scheme. The FBI describes an air loan as a nonexistent property loan where there is usually no collateral. Brokers invent borrowers and properties, establish accounts for payments, and maintain custodial accounts for escrow. They may establish an office with a bank of phones used as the fake employer, appraiser, credit agency, and so on, to deceive creditors who attempt to verify information on loan applications.

Inaccurate Income

A lie can be what you leave out as much as what you say. Given the nature of how self-employed people file taxes, some do not report their full income on their taxes. When it comes to a “stated income” loan, a borrower claims a certain amount of income, and an underwriter makes a decision based on that figure to give them a loan or not.

If the borrower tells a little white lie about their income, it’s not little at all. It’s mortgage fraud.

Repaying Gift Money

You can receive part of a down payment for a home, but the gift is not to be repaid. In fact, when you plan to use gift funds, you’ll need to provide a gift letter that proves the money is not a loan to be repaid. You may also be asked to provide documentation to prove the transfer of the gift into your bank account. This may include asking the donor for a copy of their check or bank account statement.

If that gift is to be repaid, it is mortgage fraud. It can also put your loan qualification at risk, as all loans need to be factored into your debt-to-income ratio.


💡 Quick Tip: To see a house in person, particularly in a tight or expensive market, you may need to show the real estate agent proof that you’re preapproved for a mortgage. SoFi’s online application makes the process simple.

Avoiding and Preventing Mortgage Fraud

When it comes to buying or selling a house, there are a lot of moving parts and many cooks in the kitchen. It’s a good idea to, above all, be truthful about everything, and if anyone along the way seems to be pushing you in any other direction, you could pay dearly for taking that bad advice.

You can play the game straight, but what about all the others involved in the process? It’s smart to get referrals for companies and real estate and mortgage pros that you’ll be working with, and to check state and local licenses. Visit a home loan help center to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of getting a mortgage before you start your home search.

Once you’ve found a home you love and begin the buying process, do your homework to ensure your property evaluation, or appraisal, is on target. It might be helpful to look at other homes that are similar to see what they have sold for, and recent tax assessments of nearby homes.

Guard your John Hancock as well. Be careful what you sign, and never sign a blank document or one containing blank lines.

Once you’re a homeowner, never sign over the house deed “temporarily.” This could be a set-up. Someone may be asking you to sign over your house deed as part of a scheme to avoid foreclosure. Know that chances are you’ll lose your house permanently.

Victims of Mortgage Fraud

What do you do if you’re the victim of mortgage fraud? Your local police department may take a report. Your state attorney general’s office may be another good resource. The FBI, however, is the agency that handles most mortgage fraud investigations. You can go to tips.fbi.gov to report a crime. Other federal agencies also investigate mortgage fraud, but the FBI is likely the best first option.

The Takeaway

Mortgage fraud isn’t rare, and both industry insiders and borrowers can be involved. It’s smart to approach the process of getting a home loan with care. Do your homework to find a loan provider you trust and read everything before you sign.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.


SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.


Photo credit: iStock/fizkes

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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What Are Mortgagors, What Do They Do, and How Do They Differ From Mortgagees?

What Are Mortgagors, What Do They Do, and How Do They Differ From Mortgagees?

“Mortgagor” is just another word for someone who is borrowing money from a mortgage lender (the “mortgagee”) to purchase real estate. It’s not every day that you see the term “mortgagor” and it doesn’t roll off the tongue easily. You might even think perhaps it’s misspelled. But when it comes to financial matters, half the battle is understanding the jargon. In this case, the good news is that even if you have never heard of a mortgagor, it’s just another word for being the borrower on a home loan.

The Function of a Mortgagor

The mortgage universe can be a bit complex and it’s helpful to understand the basics of mortgages. So let’s take a closer look at the mortgagor’s role. The mortgagor makes monthly payments to the mortgagee as specified in the loan agreement. The terms of a mortgage can vary widely. For example, depending on the applicant’s credit history, the interest rate may be higher or lower than the average.

A mortgagor may choose from different types of mortgage loans. Some loans have a fixed interest rate and a term of 30 years, though many lenders offer loan lengths of 20, 15, or 10 years. A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that remains the same during the life of the loan. A variable-rate mortgage is one in which the interest rate moves up and down with the market.

The bottom line: Mortgagors must pay back the loan in a timely fashion. If not, mortgagees can force foreclosure of the home or other real estate — the collateral for the loan.


💡 Quick Tip: Buying a home shouldn’t be aggravating. SoFi’s online mortgage application is quick and simple, with dedicated Mortgage Loan Officers to guide you through the process.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


How a Mortgagor Gets a Mortgage Loan

A mortgagor applies to a mortgagee for a mortgage. Conventional mortgage loans are originated by private lenders like banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies. Certain private lenders also originate FHA, VA, and USDA loans; those loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Government-backed loans are often easier to qualify for and may have more lenient terms and lower interest rates.

No matter what kind of mortgage loan you seek, expect to jump through some hoops and produce much documentation to prove you are creditworthy and have the means to pay back what you borrow. A prospective lender will do a hard credit inquiry into your credit scores and credit history. So it’s helpful to understand what makes up your credit scores. Important factors include your credit history, how long you’ve had your lines of credit open, your payment history, and debt-to-income ratio, which is the total amount of your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income. If your debt-to-income ratio is high, that may be a no-go in the eyes of a lender, who may see you as tapped out with no real wiggle room to take on a mortgage.

To purchase a home, buyers often take on a mortgage loan for the price minus any money they put forth as a down payment. While you may be able to get an FHA loan with 3.5% down, or a VA loan with no down payment at all, the median down payment is around 13% of the value of the home.

Contractual Obligations of Mortgagors

A deal is a deal is a legally binding deal. Once the ink dries on that mortgage, you’re locked into your commitment to pay as you said you would. If you veer off course, you’re at risk of losing the home, as there is a lien on the real property as collateral for the loan. At the very least, late or missed payments will cause your credit score to dip, which could be problematic the next time you need to show your credit score, be it for a car loan or maybe even to a potential employer.

Equity of Redemption

If this phrase sounds important, it is. You’ll be thankful for it if you have gotten behind on your mortgage. Equity of redemption, also called right of redemption, will give you a chance to get caught up and keep your home before a foreclosure sale.

When you miss payments, the mortgagee can start the foreclosure process. The lender can take back the house and sell it at auction to pay off the debts. If this process has begun, you may be able to redeem the mortgage using equity of redemption. Understand that you’ll need to come up with the money to pay off the principal, interest, and expenses under equity of redemption. Realistically, if you’re in financial trouble, a funding source to pay off the loan is unlikely.

Some states have a law that gives mortgagors the right to redeem the home for a period of time after the foreclosure sale. With the statutory right of redemption, usually the borrower must pay the bid price, plus interest and fees, to the buyer of the property at the foreclosure sale.

Rights of Mortgagors

While it doesn’t have to be a battle royal, when it comes to mortgagee vs. mortgagor, the mortgagee holds the keys to the kingdom. The lender puts up the money, and if the borrower can’t make the mortgage payments, the lender has the right to take the house. That’s not to say you are without a few good things in your back pocket, like the aforementioned rights of redemption. You can also ask that your mortgage be transferred to a third party, but only if the mortgagee is not in possession of the property.


💡 Quick Tip: Not to be confused with prequalification, preapproval involves a longer application, documentation, and hard credit pulls. Ideally, you want to keep your applications for preapproval to within the same 14- to 45-day period, since many hard credit pulls outside the given time period can adversely affect your credit score, which in turn affects the mortgage terms you’ll be offered.

Mortgagors vs Mortgagees

To lessen any confusion, here’s a quick look at who does what.

Mortgagor

Mortgagee

Makes monthly payments Receives payments
Meet all terms of the mortgage Sets loan terms, including length of loan, payment due dates, and interest rate, and communicates them clearly
When the loan is paid in full, gets the deed Can seize property if mortgagor stops paying

The Takeaway

Understanding the lingo can help you be more confident as you embark on your homebuying journey. Do your research, pull together your financial documents, find a home you love and soon you, too, could become a mortgagor.

Looking for an affordable option for a home mortgage loan? SoFi can help: We offer low down payments (as little as 3% - 5%*) with our competitive and flexible home mortgage loans. Plus, applying is extra convenient: It's online, with access to one-on-one help.


SoFi Mortgages: simple, smart, and so affordable.


Photo credit: iStock/fizkes

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


*SoFi requires Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) for conforming home loans with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio greater than 80%. As little as 3% down payments are for qualifying first-time homebuyers only. 5% minimum applies to other borrowers. Other loan types may require different fees or insurance (e.g., VA funding fee, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums, etc.). Loan requirements may vary depending on your down payment amount, and minimum down payment varies by loan type.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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