There are loan options that only require 3-5%, but I do think putting down more is preferrable. If you don't put down 20%, you will likely have to pay PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance), which isn't cheap. Mortgage companies require this insurance because you have so little equity in the house, you are a bigger risk to default. That said, there can be value in buying a house before you have a 20% down payment. You start building your own equity and have a place that is your own. Buying also locks in a price for your mortgage payment (if you get a fixed rate), so you won't have annual rent increases anymore. You will likely see cost increases from property taxes and homeowners insurance though.
I think this comes down to a personal decision. Are you willing to pay PMI and have minimal equity in the house for a few years to buy a house now. Little to no equity can be troublesome if you need to sell soon because your mortgage balance might be larger than you can sell the house for. In most sales you will have to pay a 4-6% sales commission, so that alone will eat up all your equity if you only put a few percent down. This means you could sell your house and still end owing the bank some money.
Hope this helps you think through the issues. Let me know if you have other questions.
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