This depends entirely upon your credit profile, type of property, and what you wish your payment to be. It's possible to pay nothing or next to nothing, in down or closing costs, to get into a house. If your credit sucks, or you want to keep your rate low to keep your payment down, figure on at least 3-5%. Nobody puts 20% down anymore, by the time you save that much you could have bought for 0% down and had your house appreciate for 20% over, refinance it as a no-cash out, and get the interest rate advantage of a low loan-to-value loan. Let the property work for you, the most important thing is getting in. The house will build equity on its own. Be focused on a purchase money mortgage, refi when you have enough equity to dump the higher interest rates assessed for high loan-to-value loans, and DO NOT take cash out to pay your consumer debt. Word on the street is FHA is going to increase their loan limits, loosen their guidelines, and require less cash down, and their rates are better than most sub-prime lenders, so I would go that route. An 80/20 can be good to avoid mortgage insurance but the 20% second mortgages usually have rates that are downright painful, even if you have good credit. Talk to a mortgage broker, mortgage bankers are not subject to the same disclosure laws that brokers are and tend to take more profit from their clients.