Since I'm not selling books, audio tapes, or cd's my two cents on this topic might be of value to you. Much of my response may depend on one's personal budget and whether or not the down payment percentage would reduce the monthly payment within the buyer's means.
For our purposes, let's assume the buyer has the down payment and the monthly obligation is not relevant. Under this scenario I say LEVERAGE it all. Why not?! Low rates, rock bottom home prices (let's hope), tax benefit, and most importantly CASH is KING!
This will undoubtedly upset my grandparents who prefer to pay things off immediatley; my apologies in advanced. You know what I mean.
Back to the points; now bulleted:
- low rates; yes, you're money may get a better rate of return in the future
- low home prices; can we get any lower? Where's the risk?
- tax benefit; while still here this can offset the true cost on your money. Investment property ownership - a topic for another time but think about it!
- CASH is KING; Why stick all that money into your house to see it (like many folks in CA for ex.) float away? Or when you lose your job and need to get at that equity - bad bad loan officer like me says - no income no loan. Leverage your home - leave the risk with the bank - and keep your cash for a rainy day or invest elsewhere. Do you have a home equity line of credit? You should!
So will you be opting for the minimum down payment program? If not, flip the tv on to a local "unbiased" news channel and I believe you'll find a person (short hair) more than willing to sell you a book on his/her thoughts.
Again - just my two cents! Happy Friday!