Saving for that Down Payment: 5 Easy Steps

So you’ve decided to buy a house, and now all you need to save up for that pesky down payment. Check out these tips to help you get started!

 

1. Know How Much You Really Need

Typically, down payment requirements range from 3.5 to 20 percent of the purchase price of a home, depending on the lender and loan type. It’s important to understand what you’re looking for – find a real estate agent who will listen to you and will give you a good estimate of how much your new home will cost. They can also help estimate how much you’ll need for a down payment.

 

2. Inspire Yourself

No matter the price, it will take a while to save up enough money for your payment. Make visual reminders of why you’re saving and place them around the house. Take a picture of the house you want to buy (or even photos from a magazine), put it on a big poster, and hang it up in your living rom. Write an inspiring message below it such as “My future home!” Maybe get a countdown clock or calendar that says something like “Only 1 year and 50 days until I buy my dream home.”

 

Although it seems silly and childish, it can actually be a powerful motivator. You need this positive reinforcement to ramp up your motivation, otherwise you’ll lose sight of what you truly want. And then you can also lose momentum in achieving that goal. Reward your hard work with some inspiration, and it will pay off in the end.

 

3. Defeat that Budgeting Downfall

Now that you know how much you need, and now that you’re inspired to go get it – now all you need is to just start saving money in every possible way. Reflect on your spending from the past two-three months and identify which categories of spending can be reduced substantially. Maybe you’ve been eating out three times each week, or maybe you’ve been making a few too many trips to the mall. In examining your spending habits, you can make a plan for minimizing them, which in turn, increases your savings.

 

4. Earn Extra Cash

Side jobs can help immensely. Especially those found on the internet. Sites like Elance.com or oDesk.com connect freelancers to people all over the world who are willing to pay for certain services. For example, people are making money as virtual assistants, writers, designers, transcribers, and more. While working from home even! These types of jobs, or even traditional side jobs (babysitting, house-sitting, tutoring) can really boost your savings, earning you a few extra hundred dollars per months.

 

5. Don’t Give Up!

It’s a long and hard process to save up enough money for a down payment. Set small and achievable goals for each month, and then celebrate once you’ve accomplished them! Allow yourself a meal at your favorite restaurant when you reach every say, $5,000 instead of $30,000. You’ll never lose sight of what’s ahead if you have these rewards to look forward to. Make it fun, and it will help you overall.

 

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