One of the most common questions that we get from our clients is “what is a normal down payment for a house?”
Buying a home is undeniably a massive financial undertaking. Part of that commitment includes saving for a down payment which could easily run into tens of thousands of dollars. This figure doesn’t even include other associated expenses such as closing costs and monthly mortgage payments.
With the average price of a home hitting $428,700 in 2023, the normal down payment, even for a first-time conventional loan of 3%, would require you to have $12,861. Including approximately 2% in closing costs, a normal down payment would mean you need roughly $20,000 ready to buy a home!
To better understand what a normal down payment is, here are some common down payment percentages to keep in mind:
For the Lowest Down Payment Loans:
- FHA – 3.5% Down
- Conventional Loan (For first-time home buyers) – 3% Down
- Conventional Loan (for repeat buyers) – 5% Down
For No Down Payment Programs:
- VA loan – 0% Down
- USDA Loan – 0% Down
Down Payment to Avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
- Conventional Loan – 20% Down
Do these percentages make you question “What is a normal down payment if I don’t qualify for a VA, USDA or down payment assistance?” No worries, don’t let that question deter you from homeownership.
There are several ways to save up for a normal down payment. Here are four practical tips:
Track Your Expenses and Set a Budget: Establishing a budget is the primary step towards saving for a down payment on a house.
After getting a clear picture of your expenses, determine how much you can realistically save each month. With your monthly savings goal set, find ways to trim your expenses to reach your goal faster.
Make a Savings Plan and Stick to it: To make the process of saving for a down payment easier, set up a dedicated savings account for this purpose. Break down your savings goal into manageable chunks.
Automate Your Finances: To streamline saving for a normal down payment, automate your savings.
Transfers from your checking account into your dedicated down payment savings account can be made automatically, making the savings process less stressful and more efficient.
Get a Side Hustle: If your regular income is not getting you to your down payment savings goal quickly enough, consider getting a side hustle. This extra income can fast-track your savings for a normal down payment, covering other costs associated with homeownership.
In conclusion, the answer to “What is a normal down payment for a house” depends on your loan type and financial capability.
Start saving now, automate your finances to make the process simpler, and consider picking up a side hustle to speed up your savings process. With some effort and sacrifice, you can save up for a normal down payment and soon own the home of your dreams.
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