The down payment is the difference between the purchase price of a home and the loan amount, and is due at the time of closing the transaction. It ranges from as little as 0 percent of the purchase price to however much you wish to put down. The larger your down payment, the less interest you will have to pay in the long run. Loans with minimum down payments typically require a fee for mortgage insurance (PMI) in addidtion to your monthly payment, though your lender may offer 100% finance options that do not require mortgage insurance.
Money for the down payment may come from a variety of sources, including your savings, the sale or refinancing of another house, a gift or loan from family members, or a secured debt (such as a car loan). Your lender can tell you about the latest regulations regarding down payments if you or someone you know is intersted in purchasing a home.