First-time homebuyer? Average down payment costs state by state!

Hank Bailey
Hank Bailey
Published on May 17, 2019

If you’re looking to buy your first home, you may want to start saving — but just how much money you’ll need depends on a lot of different factors. It’s a common stereotype or misconception that ’20 somethings’ just want to rent today. However, a new study by Bank of America found that a majority of those who identify as Gen Z want to own a home before they get into their 30’s!

“While young prospective buyers identify saving for a down payment and closing costs (66 percent) as the top barrier to buying, they see it as less of a challenge than other generations do (vs. 69 percent of millennials, 72 percent of Gen Xers, and 74 percent of baby boomers). Covering the monthly costs of owning (58 percent) and – more so than any other generation – lacking knowledge about where to start (52 percent) are also considered barriers to homeownership by Gen Z,” Bank of America explained in a recent blog post.

Where are the areas of affordability? For any home buyer this is needed information, but it is especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Money magazine partnered with Attom Data Solutions to breakdown the average down payment needed state to state.

According to Money, “In 2018, the median sales price of a house in the U.S. was $265,500, according to data provided by real estate property company Attom Data Solutions. Going by the traditional down payment rate of 20% — a rule of thumb established by the government in the last century to help maintain manageable monthly mortgage payments — a buyer would have to put down $53,100 for a median-priced house.”

Median down payments state by state based on the national median sales price are as follows;

  • Alabama – $12,740
  • Alaska – $20,563
  • Arizona – $17,493
  • Arkansas – $10,710
  • California – $34,930
  • Colorado -$25,326
  • Connecticut – $18,550
  • Delaware – $16,800
  • Florida – $16,695
  • Georgia – $14,840
  • Hawaii – $39,900
  • Idaho – $17,149
  • Illinois – $15,706
  • Indiana – $12,887
  • Iowa – $12,040
  • Kansas – $11,713
  • Kentucky – $11,550
  • Louisiana – $13,125
  • Maine – $18,642
  • Maryland – $21,350
  • Massachusetts – $25,270
  • Michigan – $12,600
  • Minnesota – $17,150
  • Mississippi – $15,278
  • Missouri – $12,714
  • Montana – $18,725
  • Nebraska – $12,950
  • Nevada – $19,950
  • New Hampshire – $19,110
  • New Jersey – $23,450
  • New Mexico – $14,131
  • New York – $21,630
  • North Carolina – $15,330
  • North Dakota – $14,193
  • Ohio – $11,683
  • Oklahoma – $11,165
  • Oregon – $23,443
  • Pennsylvania – $14,350
  • Rhode Island – $18,550
  • South Carolina – $13,882
  • South Dakota – $13,090
  • Tennessee – $13,475
  • Texas – $16,144
  • Utah – $21,833
  • Vermont – $15,050
  • Virginia – $20,923
  • Washington – $25,200
  • West Virginia – $11,025
  • Wisconsin – $13,300
  • Wyoming – $16,004

Thankfully, home buyers don’t need to put 20% down to purchase a home, and in fact most first time buyers don’t do anywhere near that percentage. Those obtaining a mortgage to finance their first home typically pay about 7% of the sales price, according to a survey by The National Association of Realtors (NAR), and many even have the opportunity to put down less than that.

“Fortunately for first-time buyers, federal- and state-backed programs like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan allow much lower rates — even lower than the now-typical 7%. With an FHA loan, a down payment can be as low as 3.5%, given the buyer meets a certain set of requirements, like having PMI. Other programs even offer 0% down for military families and rural home buyers,” according to Money.

There are options everywhere if you know where to look! Even conventional mortgages today, with a strong credit profile, can be obtained with as little as 3% down! I’ve also got a preferred lender locally that will do a 100% “in-house” loan for first time home buyers with competitive rates.

If you borrow responsibly, i.e.. not maxing out your purchase based on how much your lender “says” you can afford, a low-down payment loan could help “open the door” to home ownership.

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