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How Much Down Payment Do You Need to Buy a Home?

September 5, 2014 | by Katie Claflin

Categories: Affordable Housing, First Time Buyer, Homeownership, Lending

It may be less than you think.

According to a recent study by Zelman and Associates, many consumers overestimate the amount of down payment they need to buy a home. 

The study found that 39% of consumers believe they need to provide a down payment of at least 15% to qualify for a mortgage loan. 

This common misconception may be deterring qualified consumers from buying a home simply because they believe they don’t have enough savings to make a large enough down payment.

The truth is, consumers meeting certain requirements can qualify for a conventional mortgage loan with a down payment as low as 5%. Furthermore, state and local home buyer programs (such as TSAHC’s) can help home buyers purchase a home with an even lower down payment requirement.

What Are TSAHC’s Down Payment Requirements?

Through our home buyer programs, TSAHC currently offers eligible home buyers a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan that requires a minimum down payment of only 3%-3.5% (depending on the loan type). TSAHC’s programs also provide a down payment assistance grant of up to 5% of the loan amount, which home buyers can use to fully cover the down payment requirement.

When combined with a Mortgage Credit Certificate (available only to first-time home buyers), these programs can save borrowers thousands of dollars in down payment and mortgage interest costs.

Click here for more information about TSAHC’s home buyer programs and a list of participating lenders.

Should I Put Down More than the Required Amount?

Although TSAHC’s programs require a minimum down payment of only 3%- 3.5%, TSAHC encourages our home buyers to contribute additional down payment funding when possible. The National Association of Realtors provides some good information about the advantages and disadvantages of larger vs. smaller down payments.

TSAHC recommends that all home buyers contact a lender participating in TSAHC’s programs to discuss the best home loan and down payment options for their specific financial situations.

Next blog post: 12 Helpful Tips on Taking Great Housing Photos

On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.



Thanks for sharing this post, really informative.

Santos Garcia

Great post. Really worth the time to read. Thanks for sharing!

Laura Ross

Hi Randy, please contact our Homeownership Hotline 877-508-4611 for help with your question.

Randy Welling

Because I am disabled and have overdue medical bills my Father wanted me to have my inheritance before he passed away. Three months ago he signed over his home. He told me to sale it or live in it and he is off to Florida. My niece wants to buy the home,and we agreed on a price.  Her TSAHC lender approved the loan, but said we needed to wait another six months. Why? I may have to sale to someone else. HELP.

Laura Ross

Hi Emilio, We encourage you to take the Eligibility Quiz ( to see if you qualify and learn more about the requirements of our programs.  We also suggest you contact one of our participating lenders. A searchable list of lenders can be found here:

Emilio Salinas

We want to move to San Antonio Texas. What will are the requirements to purchase a home through the First Time Buyers

Laura Ross

Hi Damien, We encourage you to take the Eligibility Quiz to see if you qualify for our programs.  We also suggest you contact one of our participating lenders to discuss your specific financial situation and determine if you meet all the requirements for the program. A searchable list of lenders can be found here:

Damien Davis

I wanted to know can Texas State Affordable Housing assist me in buying my first home? I’m currently living in Houston Texas and can’t work because I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia in 2011. Since of my condition I did let that let it get me down so I decided to go into ministry on line via internet.
In my community the crime rate have picked up so many people are dying because drugs and gangs so I decided to street preach and organize neighborhood cleanups to bring unity to my community.
I have just started a nonprofit organization a ministry.
I’m currently receiving 375 a month and after 7 years of having Schizophrenia I have just filled out for disability for social security and currently waiting on a answer.
The house cost 65,000 and the mortgage $248 and the property tax is $100.
Nonprofit organization are tax exempt and don’t have to pay property taxes. My credit score will be 670 next month.
I have paid my credit card bill this month which raise my points to 670.

Laura Ross

Hi Miri, Yes there is a maximum purchase price for homes purchased under TSAHC’s DPA and MCC programs. A list of those purchase prices by county can be found here:


Hello! My husband is a teacher, I wonder how much a house should cost if applying to Tsahc and MCC. Is there a maximum amount?
Thank you!

Laura Ross

Hi April, The total amount of down payment needed to purchase a 3 bedroom home depends on the purchase price of the home. Consumers meeting certain requirements can qualify for a conventional mortgage loan with a down payment as low as 5% of the mortgage loan amount.

april roy

How much do i need for a down payment on a 3bdr home in texas?

Laura Ross

Hi Yoli, Some loan products require that the home you’re purchasing be your primary residence, including FHA loans. Continue to seek financing and ask specifically if loan products are available that don’t require the property to be your primary residence.


I’m buying my mom’s house in Texas.  i currently live in California.  my son would live in the house.  trying to finance the house through a credit union.  they say I can’t finance the house because it won’t be my primary residence.  is this correct


Does anyone has experience with Citizens State Bank Mortgages ?

Thank you in advance!
Best Regards

[email protected]

Hi Tori, you are not required to live in Texas for a specific period of time before you qualify for our programs.  If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call our home buyer hotline at 877-508-4611.


hello, I’m moving to texas in six months. how long does it take after i moved here to qualify for this program?

Jessica Garcia

Questions about first time buyers


Hi Daniel,  thanks for your question.  Our down payment assistance programs are only available to those already living in Texas, but once you have moved to Texas, we encourage you to take our Eligibility Quiz to see if you qualify.  You can also call our Homeownership Hotline at 877-508-4611 if you have any additional eligibility questions.

Daniel mesa

I live in los Angeles thinking about moving to Texas and buying a house How would I go about buy I’m a first time buyer

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