Probably the most difficult and time consuming part of buying a house is simply saving up for a down payment. But the question is, how much?

Well, it depends on the type of loan your applying for, the loan size, and whether you plan on living in the property you’re buying.

Common Loan Types

FHA – the minimum down payment requirement for this loan is 3.5% of the purchase price. This is the most common loan that is used by first time home buyers.

Conventional – the minimum downpayment is 3% for a conventional loan, as long as the loan size is under $417,000.

Though this might seem like a better deal than the FHA loan, because you have to put less down, it usually results in a higher mortgage payment because mortgage insurance rates tend to be higher when putting 3% down on a conventional loan than 3.5% using an FHA loan.

VA Loan – Depending on your VA eligibility and the purchase price of the property you’re going to buy, then there’s a good chance that you won’t have to make a downpayment.

Additionally, if you qualify for a VA loan, then you won’t have to pay mortgage insurance in your monthly payment.

Pretty cool, right!

*On a side note, there are down payment assistance programs, which can be used in conjunction with an FHA or conventional loan, which can allow a buyer to put as little as .5% down!

Loan Size

Believe it or not, but loan sizes have an impact on how much of a downpayment you’ll have to make on your future home. For example, assuming that you’re getting a conventional loan under $417,000, then you would only need to save up 3% as a down payment.

However, if the loan size is between $417,000 and $625,500, then you’ll have to put at least 5% down on the property.

If the loan size is above $625,500, you will typically have to put a minimum of 15% down.

So to summarize: (for conventional loans)

Occupancy

A final thing that impacts the amount of downpayment you will have to come up with, is whether or not you are occupying the property.

Did you know that you will almost always have to put more down payment if you buying a second home or investment than if you were buying a primary residence?

For example, lets say you were buying a beautiful property in southern California that was listed at $450K, and you were planning on using a conventional loan to buy it.

If you are going to be using the property as your primary residence (and you indicated so on your mortgage application) then your minimum downpayment would be 5% or $22,500.

However, if you were purchasing that same house but wanted to use it as an investment property, then your minimum down payment would be increased to 15% or $67,500.

Three times the down payment!

So what?

To sum it all up, you can probably see how quickly a simple thing like down payment amount can become complex.

Because of that, it’s always best to work with real estate professionals who understand both the real estate and lending sides of a purchase transaction.

And guess what? You don’t need to look any further, because those experts are LionsGate REG