The Details.

As buyers get more sophisticated by taking a bigger-picture perspective, Kevin + Jonathan offer some advice.


Less Than 20 Percent Down? Really? 

Very possible for sure and, in some cases, even more advantageous. 

Twenty Percent Or Less!

We got an email from one set of our new buyer clients thinking that they need to wait until later in the year to buy something or to start looking because they wanted to game the system to get a better mortgage. Here’s their message to us and our response... 

We've been doing research for a few weeks now, and our conclusion is that the homes we like need a bit more down payment than we're willing to spend currently. I think we'll restart our search in a few months...

And our response:

It’s a question of various factors: the longer you wait, interest rates could be that much higher which will make your monthly payments that much higher. Moreover, every time you pay rent, you’re dulling the impact of waiting to save up more money for a down payment. Also, unless there’s a huge down payment difference, the impact on your monthly mortgage payment won’t be that much bigger. Worry less about the purchase price and focus more on the monthly payment amounts as that's the amount you actually live with.  

Remember there are such things as Census Tract loans which only require anywhere from a 3% to 10% cash down payment, but those are for certain neighborhoods that the powers that be say need to be gentrified for a lack of a better word. Other programs like the VA and FHA loans don't really work here because the prices are too expensive. Other lenders like SoFi and even Citibank have done 10% or 11% down loans too but those programs can come and go. 

We think that you should really consider using a less-than-20% down payment mortgage. After all, at least with Citi, you won’t have to pay mortgage insurance premiums (which isn’t usually tax deductible like mortgage interest is) and you will get into a house that much sooner. Beyond that, however, even if you do have the 20% down payment there may be other reasons to use a 15% down loan.   

Which are ones we can tell you when you contact us. 

You Know You Want to Learn More.

We have all kinds of insights, so you should go ahead and contact us to learn how we can help you do the most optimal thing (or least as close to that as possible).


Hi, we’re Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties in San Francisco, California. We’re partners in life and in business. Together with our big black Labrador retriever, Raffi, we are top producing Realtors in San Francisco’s competitive and valuable residential real estate market.

We truly love what we do and are passionately committed to our clients, their needs and advancing their interests. We represent both buyers and sellers with many repeat clients but we are always expanding our client base. Our belief is that by working with you you will make better informed decisions in this most important of areas of life.

We invite you to contact us to learn more and to start your success story now.


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Kevin K. Ho, DRE 01875957/SBN 233408

Jonathan B. McNarry, DRE 01747295

Vanguard Properties
2501 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
555 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114