In general, a Down payment is a one-time payment a buyer makes to diminish the risks of the seller of expensive goods like a car, or a house. In Real Estate, the home buyer makes a down payment right off the bat and, then, honors the mortgage loan in monthly installments.
Down payments in Real Estate are usually calculated by observing the difference between the value of the property and the mortgage loan amount, and, then, expressed in dollars or as a percentage of the full value.
For example: if a house is valued at $100,000 and the loan is for $80,000; the down payment is $20,000 or 20%. In America, that value is usually between 3.5 to 20%.
But this definition is dependant on a lot of factors, like credit score and, sometimes, debt-to-income ratio. The higher the down payment, the lower the premiums (the amount of money you pay for each monthly installment) because the less the risk the seller/lender has of losing money should you default.
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