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Boston Real Estate: How much of a down payment do I need for a Beacon Hill condo?

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Boston Real Estate: How much of a down payment do I need for a Beacon Hill condo?

Massachusetts first-time homebuyers have fifth-highest down payment in the nation

Today’s first-time homebuyers are not only faced with higher interest rates, but the amount they need for a down payment is making for significant challenges, even right here in the Bay State.

Massachusetts first-time homebuyers have the fifth-highest down payment in the nation, according to a new report from Moneywise.

The personal-finance site ranked all 50 states based on median prices provided by Zillow and the 13% average down-payment percentage according to the National Association of REALTORS.

The average down payment for first-time homebuyers in the Bay State is $72,710.56 with a median home value of $559,312. 

Nationally, the average down payment is $43,870.93. 

For first-time home buyers, the challenge of finding and affording their dream home can feel insurmountable at times, said a Moneywise spokesperson. 

“But with perseverance, knowledge and the right mortgage decision, the path to homeownership can become a reality. Armed with the knowledge from these findings, first-time home buyers can make informed decisions when it comes to choosing a state to buy their first home and work their way towards a brighter financial future.” 

Hawaii had the highest average down payment, with $110,360.38 needed to secure a home in a state with a median home value of $848,926.

California came in second, with an average down payment of $98,904.00, followed by Washington with $77,445.16. Colorado was No. 3 on the list, with an average down payment of $72,778.94.

West Virginia is the best state for first-time homebuyers, according to the report, with the lowest average down payment requirement of $16,783.39 on the state’s $129,103 median home value.


In a recent 2020 Boston real estate survey, revealed that 38% of those between the ages of 25-29 years old thought a 20% down payment was required to purchase a Boston condo and  those between the ages of 30-34 years old believe that a minimum of 15% is required as a down payment to purchase a home.

In actually, a purchaser may be able to put down far less. real 

Freddie Mac, in a past blog post addressing the issue, confirmed that there is misinformation regarding the amount necessary when determining the down payment for a home purchase:

“Did you know 40 percent of today’s homebuyers using mortgage financing are making down payments that are less than 10 percent? And how about this: since 2010, the number of people putting down less than 10 percent for conventional loans has grown three fold.  So, not only are low down payment options real, they represent a significant portion of today’s purchases.”

In a separate Executive Perspectives, Christina Boyle, Freddie Mac’s VP and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management explained further:

  • A person “can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5 percent (sometimes with as little as 3 percent coming out of their own pockets)”.

  • Qualified borrowers can further reduce the down payment coming out of their own pockets to 3 percent by lining up gifts from family or grants or loans from non-profits or public agencies.

Ms. Boyle goes on to explain:

“Letting more consumers know how down payments are determined could bring more qualified borrowers off the sidelines. Depending on their credit history and other factors, many borrowers can expect to make a down payment of about 5 or 10 percent.”

Bottom Line

If you are saving for either your first Beacon Hill home or that perfect move-up downtown Boston condo, make sure you know all your options. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Have questions about your options as a future home buyer? We have a team of experts ready to assist you in finding the right answers.

Contact our team today. Don’t forget to ask for a complimentary market analysis!


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