Most mortgages generally require down payments as a firm commitment from the buyer to the lender of the buyer’s intention to repay the loan. Some lenders will offer mortgages for 97% or 95% of the value of the property. The borrower, then, is required to make only a 3% or 5% down payment. Generally, when a mortgage is made with less than a 20% down payment, mortgage insurance is required. Some lenders may be more restrictive, however.