How Much You Should Save Each Month for a Down Payment, By State

When it comes to buying a house, the financials can be overwhelming. That’s why a little bit of preparation or saving goes a long way—and a lot of preparation and saving goes even further.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, one of the biggest costs you’ll be hit with is the down payment. Instead of just saving “a lot of money” to make it work (or if you think the number is too big—none at all), set a monthly savings goal that you know will be used explicitly to purchase your new house. If you commit to setting aside a given sum every month, that will add up fast and make it easier for you to close on your dream home.

Not sure how much that monthly savings goal should be? Well, the amount you should save depends on where you live. Pricier, more competitive markets—like New York and San Francisco—may require a larger down payment to make your offer more attractive to the seller. On average, though, a down payment is roughly 20 percent of the home’s price, so we looked at median home prices in every state (according to Trulia) to get an accurate read at how much you should be saving. Then, we divided that cost by 78 (which is how many months are in six and a half years, the average time it takes an American to save up for a down payment). This isn’t the most scientific method, but it does break down that huge, scary number in more realistic terms (and Douglas Boneparth, president of Bone Fide Wealth, a financial advisor firm geared towards helping millennials, gives the method a thumbs up).

Given that you’ll be stashing a pretty large sum, call on a financial planner to figure out the most productive ways to store your money while you’re not using it. Since you’re going to be storing it for years, you can make that money work for you in the meantime.

State Median Home Price Down Payment Monthly Savings Plan
Alabama $171,500 $34,300 $440
Alaska $267,404 $53,480 $686
Arizona $225,000 $45,000 $577
Arkansas $156,000 $31,200 $400
California $462,000 $92,400 $1,185
Colorado $331,000 $66,200 $849
Connecticut $253,500 $50,700 $650
Delaware $210,000 $42,000 $539
Florida $218,000 $43,600 $559
Georgia $193,000 $38,600 $495
Hawaii $442,500 $88,500 $1,135
Idaho $349,000 $69,800 $895
Illinois $212,000 $42,400 $544
Indiana $190,843 $38,168 $490
Iowa $157,000 $31,400 $403
Kansas $187,649 $37,529 $482
Kentucky $170,000 $34,000 $436
Louisiana $232,610 $46,522 $597
Maine $275,717 $55,143 $707
Maryland $379,000 $75,800 $972
Massachusetts $150,000 $30,000 $385
Michigan $164,000 $32,800 $421
Minnesota $240,000 $48,000 $616
Mississippi $195,390 $39,078 $501
Missouri $204,506 $40,901 $525
Montana $314,959 $62,991 $808
Nebraska $178,000 $35,600 $457
Nevada $249,300 $49,860 $640
New Hampshire $245,000 $49,000 $629
New Jersey $290,000 $58,000 $744
New Mexico $254,798 $50,959 $654
New York $430,000 $86,000 $1,103
North Carolina $210,000 $42,000 $539
North Dakota $226,863 $45,372 $582
Ohio $154,900 $30,980 $398
Oklahoma $150,000 $30,000 $385
Oregon $315,000 $63,000 $808
Pennsylvania $191,000 $38,200 $490
Rhode Island $256,000 $51,200 $657
South Carolina $181,500 $36,300 $466
South Dakota $177,500 $35,500 $456
Tennessee $190,000 $38,000 $488
Texas $320,067 $64,013 $821
Utah $440,946 $88,189 $1,131
Vermont $325,000 $65,000 $834
Virginia $297,500 $59,500 $763
Washington $332,719 $66,543 $854
West Virginia $136,500 $27,300 $350
Wisconsin $197,000 $39,400 $505
Wyoming $291,855 $58,371 $749

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