Important Details

Down Payment

Down Payment Amount

You’ll typically want between 3.5% and 20% of your purchase price as a down payment for your new home. The exact amount depends on your credit history, income, the cost of the home and the type of mortgage you choose.

Ways to Build Your Down Payment

Save and Budget

Saving for a down payment is a good first step toward homeownership. If you don’t have enough saved for a down payment, you may want to postpone house hunting to save for a larger down payment rather than looking at a low down payment mortgage program.

Set up a personal or household budget to help you manage your money and see how you’re spending it. If you already have debt, a budget can help you see how to pay it off and start saving for a home.

Using Gifted Funds

For a down payment to be considered a gift, there can’t be an expected or implied repayment of the funds to the donor by the borrower. Cash gifts are okay when the donor is a relative, employer, charitable organization or a government agency with a home ownership assistance program.

To use gift funds for your down payment, consider FHA financing. FHA requires a down payment of just 3.5% and it can all be from gift funds. Conventional financing requires you provide the first 5% from your own funds unless your donor is providing 20% in gift funds.

Individual Development Accounts

The Individual Development Account Network (IDAN) provides a savings match and financial education. Simply register and complete 8 hours of financial training to receive a letter to take to the bank of your choice. Funds can be used for home ownership for first-time homebuyers, education or small business development or technology assistance for disabled individuals.

Home$tart and Home$tart Plus Programs

The Federal home Loan Bank Seattle’s Home$tart and Home$tart Plus programs are for nonstudents earning up to 80% of their local area median income. Qualified participants can use grants for down payments, closing costs or remodeling an owner-occupied housing unit.

  • The Home$tart program matches $3 for every $1 saved, up to $5,000.
  • The Home$tart Plus program matches $2 for every $1 saved, up to $10,000.

Learn more and find participating financial institutions.

Local Utah and Idaho Down Payment Assistance Programs

For programs in other states, talk with your local government, real estate agent or search the Internet.

Important Details




Zions Bank sponsors the Homeowners Café® as a service to the community; therefore, all information provided should be considered as educational in nature and not as professional services. By utilizing the services of, and the information provided by, the Homeowners Café, you acknowledge and agree this does not constitute any legal commitment to become a customer of any bank, including Zions Bank and its affiliates nor does it constitute an offer of any extension or modification of any credit to you by Zions Bank or its affiliates.

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Homeowner’s Café®
This page was last modified on Wed Nov 25 14:56:19 MST 2015