I see some good advice, but at the end of the day there is only one inescapable truth... the less money you put down the more you will pay in interest, period. I bought my first house on a VA home loan, zero down sounds great, until you realize almost all your early payments are interest, the lender will get their money first. I imagine lenders love VA loans, not only are they guaranteed, they are interest gold mines. The more you put down, the less you pay in interest over the life of the loan, pretty basic concept that seems to escape a lot of people. Just re'fied and are going to buy our second home, having learned lessons from the first which we will turn into a rental, I will be putting down every penny possible on my next VA loan. Lenders will almost try and talk you out of it, especially with a VA. Its in their best interest, no pun intended. We live debt free, stay away from car payments! worst investments out there. Might I suggest spending some time researching money market accounts and mutual funds. Savings accounts are pretty old fashion in my opinion, and there are way easier and effective places to multiply your savings relatively safely over a 5 year term. My personal brokerage account is Fidelity, your core position is managed as a money market account, 1-2% interest, works just like a savings/bank account. This puts you in an easy position to branch out into bonds or mutual funds. Mutual funds with a return on investment horizon of 5 years could seriously multiply your savings as well, with little risk. Instead of depositing that $200 into a savings account purchase more mutual fund shares with every pay check. Dollar cost averaging investments in mutual funds are a tried a tested way to make good investment gains over time. One other thing, find a buyer agent! They can save you a lot of headaches and they will represent you and your best interests and yours only. Only buyer agents are required by law to do this, relators that are not strictly buyer agents have no obligation to you as a buyer to get you the best deal, and many times will work to get the best deal for their commission or for the sellers that they happen to be neighbors with. Good luck!