kitchen area in Boulder home

Colorado Down Payment Choices

If you are looking to buy a home, on of your first steps should be to know how much of a down payment will put on the home. Here is an overview of some programs:

FHA Mortgages
Low down payments - 3.5% with a 580 credit score or higher; 10% down from 500
Easier credit qualifying
3.5% down payment on 2 - 4 units. See if a Colorado FHA home loan might be the right choice for you. Approval is subject to FHA maximum loan limits in the county, credit scores above 580, not exceeding maximum debt to income ratios, and qualifying employment.

VA Loan Programs
The Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees very attractive long-term fixed rate mortgages for eligible military members with little or no down payment options.

Low Doc or No Tax-Return Mortgage
The down payment is 20% for a bank statement loan, Liquid Asset-qualifier, or cash-flow investment property loan. (subject to credit scores above 620, satisfactory credit report, and 2 years of self-employment, if applicable.)
NOTE: 10-percent down on bank statement mortgages is offered but rates are much higher than a 20% or more down payment.

Down Payments on Jumbo Mortgages
The traditional down payment is 20-percent for a jumbo mortgage loan, but there are programs with as little as 5-percent if you meet the conditions.

Home Prices in Denver and Boulder
According to the DMAR (Denver Metro Association of Realtors) the average home price in Denver is $490,352 and a condo is $328,760.

In Boulder, the median home listing price is $850,000. The median home price can be skewed with more multi-million dollar homes sold combined in a market with low inventory. Adjacent cities near Boulder like Louisville, Longmont, Lafayette, and Superior, have lower priced homes.

Because the median price is far above the $578,450 conforming limit, you may need to have 20-percent of the home's contract price ready for a down payment. However, there are loan products that allow just 5% down up to $1.5 million (yet rates are not as attractive). If you're a first-time home buyer who wants a low down payment, we have 3-percent, 5 percent and 10-percent down to keep more money in your pocket.

Want to Buy a Duplex or Multi-family Residence?

Below are the conforming loan limits and minimum down payments for a Duplex, Triplex, or Quadplex in Denver & Boulder. If the purchase price or value is above these limits, you'll need non-conforming financing.

Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson Counties

1 Unit (Home, Condo or Townhome) - $561,200 - 3% down ($16,836)

2 Units (Duplex) - $677,200 - 3.5% down payment ($25,145) - FHA

3 Units (Triplex - $868,400

4 Units (Quadplex) - $1,079,250

Boulder County

Home, Condo or Townhome - $626,750 - 3% down payment ($18,802)

2 Units (Duplex) - $802,350 - 3.5% down payment ($28,802) - FHA

3 Units (Triplex - $969,850

4 Units (Quadplex) - $1,205,300

Of course, if you are eligible for a VA loan, you may qualify for zero down on some of the above scenarios.

Once more, to summarize the down payment options available to help you become a homeowner in the greater Denver - Boulder area are:

FHA mortgage loans with as little as 3.5% down.
Conventional fixed-rate home loans with as little as 3% down.
VA home loans with zero down payment for eligible veterans.
Down payment assistance programs may be available through CHFA.
Seller may pay up to 3% towards buyer's closing costs

Get pre approved before looking at a home to buy

A conventional fixed rate mortgage can be assured with terms up to 30 years. With just a 3% down payment at closing for a primary residence, you can qualify for a conventional loan in Denver - Aurora - Lakewood MSA up to $561,200, Boulder County up to $626,750, Eagle up to $696,900, Garfield County to $718,750, and Routt and Summit County up to $625,500. It is not an issue if the loan is over these amounts, it will fall under jumbo financing, which offer five and ten percent down programs to qualified borrowers.

Eligible Properties: residential single family homes, condos, and townhomes. 2-4-family properties require higher down payments. This programs above do not include homes with 20 acres or more, log cabins, hobby-farms, or agriculturally zoned properties.