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How Much Money Do I Need to Buy a Home?

Home buyers ask me all the time how much money they really need to purchase a home.

The answer is always: "That depends..."

  • Your home price (Affects down payment, due diligence & earnest money)

  • Down Payment (Loan type, personal preference)

  • Number/Type of Inspections (Impacted by age of the house)

  • Area of Purchase (Taxes/Insurance/HOA)

  • Loan (lending fees, choosing to pay down the interest rate, etc.)

What's My Down Payment Going to Be?

Again, it depends on your loan product. Unless you pay cash for a home, here are your options.

  • Conventional loan: As little as 3% down (for buyers with best qualifications, i.e. low debt, higher credit scores)

  • VA loan: As little as 0% down (for military veterans, VA funding fee required, but rolled into the loan)

  • FHA: As little as 3.5% down (this loan is for buyers with lower credit scores and a higher debt-to-income ratio)

  • USDA: As little as 0% down (only on eligible homes in specific, rural areas, can take as long as 60 days to close)

Here's a chart to explain when the money flows out (if you're buying an existing home, new construction is a bit different). Pay special attention to Due Diligence & Earnest Money.

(**NC has both Due Diligence and Earnest Money, SC only has Earnest Money, but the 1% anticipated amount is the same.)


1) Your lender will provide you with a LOAN ESTIMATE to help you understand the fees associated with your particular purchase.

2) I can provide you with a sample CLOSING DISCLOSURE to show final numbers for buyers in your price point.


When buying new construction, there is only Earnest Money which can be as little at $1,000 down or as much as the builder requires. The good news with new construction is that the inspections are fewer (if desired) and some builders pay closing costs.


  • Start early: Reach out to me, I am excited to help you! I can connect you with a great lender and walk you through every step of the process.

  • Save Money: Start saving money. Shoot for $10,000. We can talk about gift funds, down payment assistance and closing cost assistance programs. Just start saving

  • Pay down: credit card debt, pay off old smaller debts, and please don't buy a car until after you close.


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