There is a big difference in the down payment required.
A. Under a FHA mortgage loan
#1 Down payment could be as low as 3.5%
#2 Down payment might be a gift from family, friend or charity group such as a church.
#3 Underwriting guidelines are not as stringent.
#4 There is something similar to PMI that is paid the life of the mortgage loan.
#5 You are required to pay your county taxes and insurance monthly through your mortgage company.
#6 Under certain circumstances you might include an amount make a few minor repairs found during the FHA appraisal
B. Under a conventional mortgage loan
#1 The down payment could be between 5%-10%, currently the norm is approximately 10%
#2. If you would want to avoid the monthly PMI payment you would be required to have a down payment of 20%
#3 The underwriting the mortgage loan is more stringent than that of a FHA mortgage loan.
There are no additional protection for any borrower taking any mortgage loan be it a conventional, FHA or VA mortgage loan. If the property you decide to purchase depreciate in value there is no protection. Perhaps you might check with your insurance company, they might offer some type of protection.
When applying for a mortgage loan, you should apply through a mortgage broker that is able to do government mortgage loans. Make sure your loan officer go over and explain each mortgage loan you are approved for to include all government mortgage loans.
Once you have an understanding of the mortgage loans you are qualified for, you are able to make an intelligent decision based on your financial situation at the time.
"I hope this has been of some benefit to you, good luck.