CONSUMER WATCH: ZERO down for a home...yes, you can in 2018!

For many first-time homeowners, coming up with the money for the down payment can be the most difficult part of the process.

With the home loan crisis nearly a decade behind us, many financial institutions have strict guidelines for lending.

However, there are several programs available right now to get you into a house with zero or very low out-of-pocket costs.

If you're a veteran, take advantage of V.A. loans which require no money down or an FHA loan which only requires very little money upfront.

"These loans apply all over the country. So my advice to you is to talk to a real estate agent and ask if they're aware of any of these low or no down payment programs," said David Greene who is the author of 'Long-Distance Real Estate Investing'.

Also, look for housing grants assistance that will help with your down payment.