Currently, if you’re buying a home to live in, you will likely need cash of at least 3.5 percent of your purchase price in order to qualify for an FHA loan.  But lenders have been regularly tightening their financing requirements for the past year or two and there are rumblings that the FHA minimum down payment will soon be raised to five percent.


If you’re using conventional financing, count on the bank requiring upwards of 10 to 20 percent down.  On investment property, many lenders are now asking for 25 percent or more in cash in order to finance the deal.


If you don’t have a ton of cash, there are still a few programs available for borrowers who meet certain conditions.  The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) offers down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers and the US Department of Agriculture offers no-money-down rural development loans on homes that meet program criteria. 


One thing that is almost guaranteed, though, is that the amount cash required to buy a home is much more likely to rise than drop in the next 6-12 months.  If cash is an issue, get with a real estate professional now to see whether or not you have enough money available to buy a home.