Data from the National Association of Realtors’ Confidence Index Survey finds fewer first-time home buyers obtaining mortgages with a down payment of 6 percent or less. In fact, the number of first-time buyers who put down 6 percent or less had dropped to 61 percent by February, down from 74 percent in 2009. Though there are a number of factors causing buyers to put down more money when buying their home, the benefits of a higher down payment remain the same. The more money you put down when purchasing a house, the lower your monthly mortgage payment will be. According to the NAR, saving for a higher down payment also betters the odds that a prospective buyer can obtain a loan from their bank, in addition to increasing the likelihood of winning a bid for a particular property should there be multiple offers on a home. In short, the more money you’re able to put forth as a down payment, the more attractive you’ll be to mortgage lenders and home sellers. In a competitive market, where demand is still higher than supply, a higher down payment can help provide an edge over other potential buyers in your area. More here.