That depends on a number of factors, including the cost of the house and the type of mortgage you get. In general, you need to come up with enough money to cover three costs:
- Earnest Money – the deposit you make on the home when you submit your offer, to prove to the seller that you are serious about wanting to buy the house
- Down Payment – a percentage of the cost of the home that you must pay when you go to settlement
- Closing Costs – the costs associated with processing the paperwork to buy a house.
When you make an offer on a home, your real estate broker will put your earnest money into an escrow account. If the offer is accepted, your earnest money will be applied to the down payment or closing costs. If your offer is not accepted, your money will be returned to you. The amount of your earnest money varies.
As for your down payment, the more you put toward it, the lower your mortgage payments will be. Closing costs, which you will pay at settlement, average 3-4% of the price of your home. When you apply for your loan, your lender will give you an estimate of the closing costs, so you won’t be caught by surprise.