There is some mis-information below. A good faith deposit (or "earnest money") is the amount you put down to show the Seller how committed you are to purchasing the property. A DOWN PAYMENT is between you and your lender, and usually runs between 0% for special loans (like VA and such) and 30% for higher-risk loans. It's a cushion that the bank demands to make the loan a safer investment for them. Like a casino...the bank always wins! The programs at the lower end of the spectrum (VA, FHA, etc) are financially backed by the government, so the bank is protected if you default on your loan.