How much downpayment do I need to buy a house?

11 01 2011

I’m going to give you an idea for a $150,000 house in the Billings, Montana area.  I’m also going to assume you have a super-awesome agent who can your closing costs & prepaids negotiated to be paid by the seller.  In that case, you’d need an earnest money check of most likely $500 (that will go toward the purchase for you at closing).  That will happen at the time you write the offer with your agent (although it wouldn’t be deposited until the offer is accepted).  Then, your agent will most likely strongly urge you to get an inspection.  This will probably cost between $250-$350 at the time of the inspection (probably within a week or so of an accepted offer) depending on what stuff you’d like the inspector to check out for you.  Finally, you’ll need the money for the downpayment at the time of closing, which will probably happen 30-45 days from when you wrote the offer (whew…you’ll have another check or two before that time comes).  Minimum downpayment for FHA is 3.5%, so that’d be $5,250.  Giving you a grand total of right around $6,000 out of pocket to buy a $150,000 house.  This could be greatly reduced if you have a family member who can gift you the downpayment (all of it), or you quailfy for a VA (as a disabled vet) or RD loan, in which case you might qualify for 100% financing!




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