It’s no secret that houses are expensive – no matter what the market looks like, a house costs a lot of money. Many people want to purchase a home, but don’t know how to save money efficiently. This is especially true for first-time home buyers.
I’m here to tell you that saving for a house isn’t too hard as long as you stick to a plan and stay focused. You will be surprised at how quickly you can grow your bank account and prepare yourself for that down payment.
First, let’s talk about the 20% myth – a long time ago, 20% was established as the magic number to save and use as a down payment on a house. Yes, 20% down will save you money in the long run, but that doesn’t mean it is a requirement. Today, many mortgage programs will take as low as 3% for a down payment. Basically, the more money you put down upfront, the less your monthly payment will be, saving you a lot of money paying future interest.
To determine how much you plan to use for a down payment, you need to figure out how much house you can afford. I recommend using my mortgage calculator on the website to help you figure out how much of a monthly payment you can afford. This will then help you calculate interest and percentage for a down payment.
An effective, and somewhat obvious way to save money is to cut back on spending unnecessarily. You have to weigh your priorities – if you eat out consistently, consider cooking at home a few nights a week. Also, take a look at your monthly subscriptions. Do you need to pay for six different streaming platforms, or can you narrow them down? It may not seem like a lot of money, but $15-20 a month per subscription can add up quickly.
Another great way to save some money? Ask for a raise! If you feel comfortable discussing this with your employer and qualify for a raise, have a conversation with your boss. The worst that can happen is they say no. My advice is to ask – if they give you the raise, immediately put that extra money into savings. You’ve been doing fine without the money up until now, so tuck it away and watch your savings grow.
I’ve also worked with clients who pick up a second job or start a side hustle. It doesn’t have to be a permanent solution, and you will be grateful for the extra money. Besides a down payment, buying a house comes with additional expenses such as moving and new furniture.
As a realtor, I understand the process of buying a home and how expensive it can be. If you want to buy or sell your home, let’s talk! Call me at 717-253-3259 (cellphone) or visit my website at www.karentavenner.com.