How Much is the Average Down Payment for a House?

how much is the aveage down payment for a home

Let’s talk about how much is the minimum down payment to buy a house right now in 2024 with different loan programs. So if you’re wondering “how much do I need to save for a down payment”, you can know right away.

I’m going to make this guide super easy to understand, so let’s dig into the details.

FHA Minimum Down Payment

Whether or not you are a first-time homebuyer, the FHA loan is one of the easiest loans to qualify, and it requires a low down payment from borrowers.

One of the great features of an FHA loan is its relatively low down payment requirement. The minimum down payment for an FHA loan is just 3.5% of the purchase price. For example, if you’re buying a home worth $300,000, your down payment would be $10,500.

Don’t have 3.5% for a down payment but still want to get an FHA loan?

Well, FHA allows for the combination of many down payment assistance programs (DPA) that can help you get into a house with $0 or very little money out of pocket. These programs can be in the form of gifts, grants, or even forgivable loans. More on this later!

Conventional Loan Minimum Down Payment

Conventional loans are the most common types of mortgages available. In fact, over 62% of homebuyers in 2020 used a conventional mortgage to buy a house.

If you are a first-time Homebuyer, the minimum conventional loan down payment is 3%.

So, if you are buying a $400,000 home, you’d need $12,000 for the down payment.

However, if you have owned a property in the last 5 years, or currently own one and you are looking to move into a new home as your new primary, the minimum down payment is 5%.

Therefore, if you are buying a $400,000 home, the minimum down payment would be $20,000.

Minimum down payment for an investment property

The previous section mentioned that the minimum down payment for a conventional loan is 3% for first-time homebuyers. But what if you are looking to get a mortgage to invest in real estate and you are wondering what is the minimum down payment for an investment property with a conventional loan?

Ok so if that’s the case, the minimum down payment for a conventional loan when purchasing an investment property is 15%. This means that for a $400,000 home, the down payment would be $60,000.

Just so you know, most investors who buy investment homes put 20-25% down payment. The most common down payment for an investment property is 20%.

Although you can get an investment loan with 15% down, know that your interest rate will be much higher, and you may also have to pay higher origination fees as well. Truth is, there is more risk to the lender when an investor is only putting down such a low down payment. In fact, most lenders don’t even allow for a 15% down payment for an investment property. Here at Andes Mortgage, we do have programs that allow you to get into an investment home with 15% down.

What is the minimum down payment to avoid paying PMI?

If you are getting a conventional loan, the minimum down payment to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) is 20%.

PMI is an additional monthly cost that is added to your mortgage payment if you put down less than 20% on your home purchase. It protects the lender in case of default. However, once you reach a certain amount of equity in your home (usually 20%), you can request for PMI to be removed from your loan.

For example, let’s say you purchased a $400,000 home with a conventional loan and only put down 10% ($40,000). With this scenario, you would have to pay PMI on top of your mortgage payment until you reach 20% equity in your home. This could add up to thousands of dollars over the course of several years.

On the other hand, if you put down 20% ($80,000) on a $400,000 home purchase, you would not have to pay PMI at all.

It’s important for you to know that if you get an FHA loan, you will have to pay mortgage insurance regardless of your down payment amount. It doesn’t matter what your down payment is with an FHA loan, the PMI on that mortgage is mandated for the life of the loan as well.

$0 Down Payment Programs

Did you know that some programs allow you to buy a home with no money down? Yup, that’s true!

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers $0 down payment loans to eligible veterans, service members, and certain military spouses.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides no-down-payment loans for rural and suburban homebuyers who meet specific income requirements. These programs are fantastic options if you qualify, as they can significantly reduce the upfront cost of buying a home.

Down Payment Assistance Programs (DPA Loans)

If saving for a down payment feels overwhelming, you’re not alone. Fortunately, many down payment assistance programs are available to help bridge the gap. These programs can come in various forms, including grants, forgivable loans, and even second mortgages with deferred payments.

Down payment assistance programs are structured like this:

Say for instance that you are working with us and you are needing to get some sort of assistance to purchase your home.

We would structure a first loan at 96.5% loan-to-value and then, a second-lien down payment assistance loan to cover the remaining 3.5% or even 5%. Therefore, your loan to value would be either 100% or 101.50%.

Don’t let that scare you. In plain English, what I’m trying to say is that 100% of the cost of the house is getting financed or even 101.5% of the cost of the house is getting finance. Why? Because we can offer down payment assistance programs that can give you 3.5% or even 5% as assistance.

Down Payment Assistance Grants

What is the difference between a grant and a down payment assistance program?

Grants are usually subsidies that do not need to be repaid, whereas down payment assistance programs may have repayment terms or interest rates.

Some common sources of grants include government agencies, non-profits, religious groups, and even employers can issue a grant.

Here at Andes Mortgage, we have access to various down payment assistance grants anywhere between $1,500 up to $20,000 that do not need to be repaid.

Our team is knowledgeable about the different requirements and qualifications for each grant, and we can help guide you through the application process.


Understanding the average down payment for a house involves more than just a single number. Various factors, including the type of loan, your financial situation, and available assistance programs, play a crucial role. Whether you’re taking advantage of an FHA loan’s low down payment, exploring $0 down payment programs, or leveraging down payment assistance, there’s a path to homeownership that can work for you.

Ready to take the next step? Start by researching the type of loan and assistance programs that best suit your needs. The sooner you begin, the closer you’ll be to unlocking the front door of your new home.

For personalized advice and the latest updates on down payment options, feel free to reach out to our team of experts. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

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