For those of you who are homeowners, does the down payment on a home REALLY matter? (I have been reading about 3% down)
You should put at least 20% down. This will prevent having to pay PMI
Do the math. The larger the down payment, the smaller the principal amount. Therefore the smaller the interest on the loan, and the smaller the monthly payment or length of the loan.
In a nutshell, you need to bring SOMETHING to the table, even with first time home buyer programs. The lenders want to see you have some sort of dog in the fight and can be somewhat responsible with cash before giving you a mortgage.
Yes. For the very basic reason of lowering your payment and depending where you live, a tax break if I'm not mistaken.