How much you need for a down payment on a home in America’s 20 biggest cities

  • How much you need to save for a down payment depends on the price of the house.
  • The standard down payment is 20% of the purchase price, but many first-time buyers put down less money up front and take on a bigger mortgage.
  • For down payments below 20%, the lender will typically require private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is an extra monthly payment on top of a mortgage payment.
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Buying a home requires a lot of planning, and it usually starts with saving for a down payment.

Experts have long recommended putting down 20% of the purchase price up front, if you can afford it, and financing the rest with a mortgage. In this case, you won’t have to get private mortgage insurance (PMI) – which would require extra monthly payments on top of your mortgage – and you may get more favorable loan terms, specifically lower interest rates.

But according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), some 60% of homebuyers put down 6% or less of the purchase price. And 58% of buyers said the money came from their savings.

While millennials may be buying cheaper homes than Gen Xers and baby boomers at a median price of $238,000, they’re putting down less money up front, according to an earlier report by Realtor.com. Millennials are the generation now responsible for the largest share of new mortgages by dollar volume – they put down just 8.8% of the purchase price, on average.

Below, we’ve calculated how much buyers need for a 10%, 15%, and 20% down payment based on median home sale prices in the largest US metro areas sourced from Zillow. Data on median sale price was not available for Detroit and Houston, so median listing price was used.

Even if you end up putting down less than 10%, these can be good benchmarks for saving – any money that isn’t used for the down payment could go toward closing costs or insurance payments.


20. Detroit, Michigan, median home price: $189,900*

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James R. Martin/Shutterstock

10% down payment: $18,990

15% down payment: $28,485

20% down payment: $37,980

*Median price of homes currently listed


19. Tampa, Florida, median home price: $205,200

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Shutterstock / Bonnie Fink

10% down payment: $20,520

15% down payment: $30,780

20% down payment: $41,040


18. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, median home price: $208,800

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Shutterstock

10% down payment: $20,880

15% down payment: $31,320

20% down payment: $41,760


17. Atlanta, Georgia, median home price: $209,400

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ESB Professional/Shutterstock

10% down payment: $20,940

15% down payment: $31,410

20% down payment: $41,880


16. Chicago, Illinois, median home price: $231,500

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pics721/Shutterstock

10% down payment: $23,150

15% down payment: $34,725

20% down payment: $46,300


15. Phoenix, Arizona, median home price: $240,500

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Shutterstock

10% down payment: $24,050

15% down payment: $36,075

20% down payment: $48,100


14. Baltimore, Maryland, median home price: $243,500

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Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

10% down payment: $24,350

15% down payment: $36,525

20% down payment: $48,700


13. Dallas, Texas, median home price: $250,800

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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

10% down payment: $25,080

15% down payment: $37,620

20% down payment: $50,160


12. Minneapolis, Minnesota, median home price: $256,900

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Oksana Tysovska/Shutterstock

10% down payment: $25,690

15% down payment: $38,535

20% down payment: $51,380


11. Miami, Florida, median home price: $262,800

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pisaphotography/Shutterstock

10% down payment: $26,280

15% down payment: $39,420

20% down payment: $52,560


10. Houston, Texas, median home price: $289,500*

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Shutterstock/Roschetzky Photography

10% down payment: $28,950

15% down payment: $43,425

20% down payment: $57,900

*Median price of homes currently listed


9. Riverside, California, median home price: $354,100

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Shutterstock/Jon Bilous

10% down payment: $35,410

15% down payment: $53,115

20% down payment: $70,820


8. Washington, DC, median home price: $380,700

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Richard Cavalleri/Shutterstock

10% down payment: $38,070

15% down payment: $57,105

20% down payment: $76,140


7. New York, New York, median home price: $386,600

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Jörg Schubert/Flickr/Attribution License

10% down payment: $38,660

15% down payment: $57,990

20% down payment: $77,320


6. Denver, Colorado, median home price: $396,900

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welcomia/Shutterstock

10% down payment: $39,690

15% down payment: $59,535

20% down payment: $79,380


5. Boston, Massachusetts, median home price: $428,900

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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

10% down payment: $42,890

15% down payment: $64,335

20% down payment: $85,780


4. Seattle, Washington, median home price: $462,800

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emperorcosar/Shutterstock.com

10% down payment: $46,280

15% down payment: $69,420

20% down payment: $92,560


3. San Diego, California, median home price: $558,100

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Shutterstock

10% down payment: $55,810

15% down payment: $83,715

20% down payment: $111,620


2. Los Angeles, California, median home price: $617,300

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Shutterstock

10% down payment: $61,730

15% down payment: $92,595

20% down payment: $123,460


1. San Francisco, California, median home price: $776,500

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Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

10% down payment: $77,650

15% down payment: $116,475

20% down payment: $155,300