Making a down payment of 20% is ideal because you can avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), but more realistically, lenders usually require at least 3% for the sale to go through.

Depending on where you live and what kind of mortgage you’re eligible for, some lenders may require a minimum of 5%.

In some circumstances, you may not have to worry about a down payment at all. If you’re a first-time buyer, veteran, or rural resident, there are special programs available to help you afford a home.