What is the average down payment for a first time home buyer?

In a percentage of the cost of the house. i.e. 10% - 100,000 = $10k.

Your answer doesnt even have to be an average, just a good starting percentage to go by.

I heard it was good to put down 20%, but isnt that a bit much (if you dont have it)?


10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It really depends on what loan program you're on. My wife and I are first time home buyers, and we went through a 30 Year FHA program last Month. We only had 3% down, and we had our seller pay the closing costs. I believe conventional loans has to be 5%. Just remember, anything under 20%, you have to pay PMI until one of the following happen:

    1.) You reach 80% LTV through normal amortization.

    2.) You refinance

    3.) If on FHA, you pay PMI (known as MIP for FHA) for more than 5 years.

    Source(s): I just went through this.
  • 6 years ago

    In today's market, although there may be a handful of loan products that offer 0% down payments or alternative financing, most lenders require as little as 3.5% down for FHA loans and 5% for conventional financing.

    When it comes to Jumbo loans or High Balance loans (loans above $417k in California, excluding FHA which has a $625k loan limit), you'll have to bring a bit more to the table. Typically a 20% down payment. In some cases though, if you have a good credit score, you can get away with putting down just 5% as a down payment for high balance loans.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The 20% is best, as it keeps you from paying PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance), which is insurance for the bank in case you default. PMI is money thrown away if you have 20% for the down.

    If you don't, not to worry. I borrowed 103% on my first home, so I was really making a negative 3% down payment. That is, I got the home, and left closing with some cash to fix up the house, which made it more valuable.

    You can do anything in between. If you go with FHA, they will require 3% down, and you have to show that you came up with it (not a gift from mom or dad). The exception is that there is a non-profit company that will 'give' you the 3% in exchange for a small fee, and the lender will roll that 3% into the loan, giving you, in essence, 100% of the home price.

    I just sold a house to a young couple using this service. They otherwise could not have bought the house, and would have been stuck paying $925 per month for a 2bd apartment. Now they pay $750 for a 1,400 sq/ft house per month, and that amount includes PMI, taxes, and insurance.

    Whatever you do, do NOT put down MORE than 20%, as interest rates are so low. If you have more money, keep it in investments that will make more than you pay in interest on your home loan, or use it to pay of credit cards if you have them.

  • 1 decade ago

    yes, 20% is a good start...the lenders look at the amount of down to gauge how serious one is as a buyer--part of the whole foreclosure problem was lenders were giving loans with little down, the housing market collapsed, people lost their equity, had very little of their own money at stake, and simply walked away from their property. Putting down over 15% is good and if you don't have it, keep saving until you do. good luck!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Actually, for first time home buyers there are several programs (depending on your state) that are offered where you don't have to have a downpayment at all. Check with your bank, they'll have lots of information about that kind of stuff.

    Source(s): Living in my first home, no downpayment. In fact I got $2500 after moving in!
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    im a broker, and the average is 2.25% minimum from FHA as a first time home buyer, it is up to you if you want to put more down payment, of course this is for 417,000 loan amount or less.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Funny, I was wondering the same thing myself

  • 1 decade ago

    0 down

    FHA with a 3% gift from seller

    Use as little of your own funds as you can. OPM!!!

    Source(s): Short Sale investor edelgado@badmarkethomes.com
  • 1 decade ago


  • 3 years ago

    That is true

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