Many Americans want to become homeowners. However, the majority of these people are having a hard time saving for a house.
According to one report, 76 percent of potential homebuyers said that they thought they could afford less than half of the homes that were on the market.
If you’re part of this group and are looking to save up to buy a house, keep reading. Explained below is everything you need to know about how to save money for a house.
Remember these tips and you’ll have a much easier time saving to get the house you want.
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Do the Math
The first step to take when figuring out how to save money to buy a house is to figure out how much you can afford to spend on a mortgage. This will help you figure out what kind of house you can buy, which will make it easier for you to calculate what you need to save for a downpayment.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best not to spend more than 28 percent (most finance experts say that’s the absolute limit) of your monthly income on your home. Figure out what that number is for you, then do some research to find houses that fall within that range.
Now, it’s time to calculate the downpayment. The more you can spend on a downpayment, the better, as this will lower your monthly payments. Many people aim to put down between 10 and 20 percent of the price of the home.
You can get approved for loans that require a smaller downpayment (FHA loans only require 3.5 percent, for example), but putting down more will work in your favor in the long run.
Once you’ve calculated the downpayment for your home, you might find yourself feeling a little anxious. It’s probably a pretty big number, even if you’re only going to put down 3.5 percent, and you might be wondering how you’ll ever save that much money.
Remember, though, that you don’t have to set it aside all at once. There’s nothing wrong with starting small and saving a little at a time.
Think about how many months or years out you are from buying a house. Then, divide the total number for the downpayment by that number. This will give you a smaller, more manageable savings goal to hit each month.
Trim Your Budget
If you’re struggling to figure out how to save for a house, you may need to make some adjustments to your budget.
Take an objective look at your spending and find expenses that you can cut. This might be your cable subscription or money you spend on trips to Target or Starbucks, for example.
Those little charges throughout the month can add up to major savings over time. Consider trimming some discretionary spending so you can reach your savings goal sooner.
Pay Off Your Debts
Make sure you’re paying off your debts, too. In fact, you may need to put saving for a downpayment on hold while you pay off credit card bills or student loans.
If you do this, it will take longer for you to get into your house. However, you’ll have more money to work with, and your credit score will be better, which means you’ll have an easier time having your loan application approved.
Use Savings Apps
If you need help saving extra money, consider making use of apps that simplify the process for you. Apps like Digit, for example, save a tiny amount from your bank account each day. Over time, these tiny deposits into your savings account can add up and make it easier for you to meet your financial goals.
Pick Up a Side Hustle
Another way to save more money is to increase your income.
These days, there are lots of ways that you can earn extra money on your own terms. Look into jobs like Lyft driving or dog walking, for example. This gives you an opportunity to earn additional cash while working at times that best suit your schedule.
Use the money you earn from your side hustle to pay off debts or put it all straight into your downpayment fund.
Save Your Windfalls
It might not seem like it at first, but most of us do receive windfalls from time to time throughout the year. We might get a check from a relative on our birthday or a larger-than-we-expected tax return, for example.
Instead of using this surprise money to treat yourself, put it into your downpayment fund. It’s not as fun as going out to dinner or buying a new gadget, of course, but it’ll definitely help you save more money.
Tell People About Your Goals
Make sure people know that you’re saving for a mortgage, too. They might be more willing to give you cash as a gift if they know about your plans.
Telling people that you’re saving for something will help them to be more understanding if you have to say no to certain activities as well.
Create a Separate Account
If your money is in an inconvenient location, you’re going to be less inclined to spend it before you’ve saved enough for your house’s downpayment.
A good option to consider is creating a separate savings account dedicated to your house. You may even want to consider a high-yield online savings account. This will help you to earn more interest on the money you save so you can afford your downpayment sooner.
It can be harder to access your money when it’s in one of these accounts, too, so you’ll be able to set it aside and forget about it until the time comes to buy your house.
You Know How to Save Money for a House: What’s Next?
When it comes to figuring out how to save money for a house, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Remember these tips, though, and the process of saving will seem a lot less daunting.
Do you need more advice on saving for a house or building your credit so you can qualify for a better mortgage loan? We have plenty of resources in our learning center that can help with this.