The National Association of Realtors reports these trends:
Age: Buyers age 45 to 65 and older are less likely to finance a home purchase. They are often repeat buyers or are downsizing.
Average buyer: The typical buyer tends to finance 91 percent of their home purchase.
First-time buyers: They are usually younger and don’t have cash from a previous home. Last year, the average first-time buyer financed 98 percent of their home. Nationwide, 40 percent financed the entire amount.
Sources of down payment: Savings are the chief source of down payment funds for home buyers in general and for 73 percent of first-time buyers.
About 40 percent of repeat buyers drew on savings for a down payment, while 60 percent of repeat buyers used the proceeds from the sale of a primary residence for a down payment.
After savings, the second most popular sources of funds for first-time buyers was a gift from relatives or friends.
Types of mortgages: Loosely defined, mortgages are either fixed-rate or adjustable. Within these categories, however, specific terms vary widely.
About 71 percent of recent home buyers reported that they had a fixed-rate loan; 8 percent had an adjustable rate loan. First-time buyers were more likely than repeat buyers to start with a fixed rate loan that eventually had rates adjusted.
Some buyers start with an adjustable rate and then convert to a fixed-rate mortgage. Others begin with a fixed-rate mortgage that then adjusts the rate periodically.
Surprisingly, 3 percent of home buyers don’t even know what type of mortgage they have.
Finance all of it, part of it, or none of it. Whichever you choose, you’ve got plenty of company.