Lenders raising down payments

August 11, 2008 5:43:25 PM PDT
It was not long ago that you could buy a home with nothing down. You know those days are over, but you have no idea how tight the credit market has become.

Putting 20 percent down when purchasing a home was the standard for decades. But in the Bay Area, that may not even be enough anymore. Lenders are raising the bar.

"There are a few loans you can get with 20 percent down, but most lenders have taken their guidelines and want to see 25 percent down and if you are in a declining county, they even want to see you put 30 percent down," mortgage planner Serena Kokjer said.

The one way around a big down payment is private mortgage insurance, but that can cost around $50 a month for every $100,000 you borrow.