If you're ready to buy but you can't afford a full 20 percent down payment, it doesn't mean home-ownership is out of the question. The key thing to focus on isn't how much you can put down, it's making sure that you're not getting in over your head financially.
Numerous factors go into the total cost of buying a place. In addition to the down payment, you also need to factor in closing costs, insurance fees, property taxes and repairs and maintenance. And if you're purchasing with less than a 20 percent down payment, you'll need to factor in private mortgage insurance as well, which can drastically affect the amount of your monthly mortgage payments.