Find Out Why More Than Half of Buyers are Wrong About Down Payments

True or false: if you’re buying a home, you need to have at least a 20% down payment? If you answered true, you aren’t alone—so did 62% of Americans.

But in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth—and you don’t have put off your home-buying dreams just because you can’t come up with 20% down!

While a 20% down payment will help you avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), it isn’t some sort of home-buying hurdle that you must clear in order to buy. In fact, it’s far from the most common amount that U.S. buyers put down!

Here’s the truth about down payments—and why you shouldn’t let that 20% number prevent you from reaching your buying goals.

The Truth about Down Payments

A piggy bank standing against a white background.

According to NerdWallet’s 2019 Home Buyer Report, around 6 in 10 Americans think you need a 20% down payment in order to buy a house. Because of this, they also tend to think that it takes several years to come up with the necessary funds for buying.

Unfortunately, this way of thinking unnecessarily postpones plenty of people’s home-buying dreams!

The truth? The most common down payment amount—put forward by around 32% of buyers—was just 5% or less. Put that in terms of concrete amounts, and it translates to just $7,500 on a $150,000 home or $15,000 on a $300,000 home.

Other Common Down Payment Amounts

A single dollar bill sitting on a wooden surface.

While 5% or less is the most common down payment amount, it’s still just one of the many options that buyers choose. Here’s how the rest of the numbers break down:

  • 16% of buyers put down 6 – 10%
  • 23% of buyers put down 11 – 20%
  • 18% of buyers put down more than 20%
  • 10% of buyers bought their home outright

A 20% down payment is a great goal, but you don’t have to feel locked into that amount! Instead, consider how much money you’d feel comfortable with putting down, then work from there.

Buyers are Optimistic

A woman packing up her home and writing on a cardboard box.

Despite prevailing misconceptions about down payments, buyers are still feeling optimistic about the market. Around 42% of Americans feel better about their home-buying prospects this year, which is up almost 20% from last year.

Additionally, 44% of people say that the current economic and political conditions make them more likely to buy in the next year, which is around a 10% increase from last year.

Long story short? Now’s a great time to buy!

Find Your Dream Triangle Home

Buying a home is major step, so it’s important that you have trusted and experienced professionals on your side. At Linda Craft & Team REALTORS®, we have over 300 years of combined real estate experience, making us well-equipped to provide you with everything you need to find home-buying success.

Take some time to explore our resources for home-buyers, learn a little more about what our past clients have to say, and use our specialized search tool to narrow down your options. Once you’re ready to get started, we’d love to talk details!

What to Do with Your Leftover Halloween Candy

Halloween candy cornIf you have kids or work in an office, there’s a good chance that you’re surrounded by leftover Halloween candy. What do you do about this problem?

Of course there are these standard options: You could eat it, share it, stash it for later, or throw it away. But maybe there’s another option: You might be able to pair that candy in a way to make it even better.

Delectable Beer-And-Candy Pairings

Here at Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS® we are always looking for a win-win. Our own Steve Kruger recommends the following beer types and brews below, and you can find the best candy to pair with them here or on this beer and brewing article.


Pair your pure chocolate candies, like M&Ms and Hershey’s fun-sized bars, with these barrel-aged craft beers:

  • Olde Hickory (NC) — The Event Horizon
  • Brooklyn — Black Ops
  • New Holland — Dragon’s Milk

The seasonal release of Olde Hickory’s Event Horizon is not available yet, but it is a great choice if you’re lucky enough to have one in your beer cellar.

Cream Ale

Peanut butter, chocolate, and cream ales — what could be better? Try Reese’s Cups or Reese’s Pieces with these recommendations:

  • Fullsteam (NC) — El Toro Cream Ale
  • Foothills (NC) — Carolina Blonde
  • Catawba Brewing Co. (NC) — Farmer Ted’s Cream Ale


Pair fruity treats like Starburst with these equally delicious pale, fruity ales:

  • Haw River — Rusted Plow Farmhouse Saison
  • Brasserie DuPont — Saison DuPont
  • The Bruery — Saison Rue

If you’ve never had a Saison, Saison DuPont is the benchmark.

Raspberry Ale

Take a bite of luxury with these raspberry ales paired with scrumptious dark chocolates:

  • Mother Earth (NC) — Windowpane Series Raspberry
  • Abita— Purple Haze
  • Founders — Rubaeus

The Windowpane beer has been retired, but it is still available at Total Wine on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh. Don’t be afraid of the fact it’s a year old. This one ages well.


Try malted candies like Butterfingers with these beers:

  • Red Oak (NC)— Seasonal Bocks
  • Ayinger— Celebrator Doppelbock
  • Troeg’s — Troegenator Double Bock

If you’ve never had a Doppelbock, Ayinger’s is the benchmark.


This Craft Beer & Brewing article recommends IPAs with Hot Tamales to balance the flavors, and we recommend the following craft brews:

  • Wicked Weed (NC) — Freak of Nature
  • Lynnwood Grill and Brewing Concern (NC) — Hop On Top
  • Foothills (NC) — Jade
  • Stone — Enjoy By Series or Ruination 2.0
  • Lagunitas — Sucks

It is critical that your IPA is fresh; the closer to the brewing date the better. Check the bottle for a brewed on or best by date. Preferably, IPA should be no more than 3 months old.

At Lynnwood Grill, you can get a fresh growler of this IPA at the restaurant. Even better, go on Wednesday when growler fills are only $10.

Light Lager

Appreciate the subtle taste of the caramel in candy corn and similar sugary treats when paired with these light lagers:

  • Red Oak (NC) — Hummin’bird
  • Oskar Blues (NC) — Mama’s Little Pils
  • Uinta — 801 Pilsner

Milk Stout

Again, pair rich chocolates like Hershey’s bars with these brews and savor the sensation:

  • DuckRabbit (NC) — Milk Stout
  • Left Hand — Nitro Milk Stout
  • Stone — Coffee Milk Stout

If you like coffee, Stone’s Coffee Milk Stout should pair beautifully with milk chocolate.


Get a taste of fall with a cider to complement candied apples and caramel apple-flavored candies.

My recommendation is drive to Bull City Ciderworks in Durham and check out their wonderful assortment of ciders.  Then take home a growler of your favorite. If you don’t want to drive out to Durham though, here are some other options:

  • Naked Apple (NC) — Wicked Peel
  • Angry Orchard — The Muse or any option from their Cider House Collection
  • Crispin — Stagger Lee

Sour Beer

Choose a sweet-and-sour pairing with our personal recommendations:

  • Wicked Weed (NC) — Any sour they brew, especially Serenity
  • Haw River (NC) — Any sour they brew
  • Vichte — Duchesse De Bourgogne (The Belgians are the true Kings of Funk)

Keep an eye out for our wine and candy pairings coming soon! How were our recommendations? Let us know in the comments.

The Triangle: Your Craft Brew and Celebration Paradise

Have you been thinking about relocating to the Triangle area? Do you enjoy craft beers like the ones we mentioned in our beer-and-candy pairings?

The Triangle is home to several areas that are renowned for their local brewing companies and craft beer cultures, including the city of Durham — home of the World Beer Festival.

Does this sound like a great area to call home? We invite you to browse Durham’s neighborhoods and homes for sale and find your new home at the heart of the city, and contact us at 919-235-0007 or to schedule a showing of your dream home.