Arguably the most challenging part of the home buying process is coming up with the money for a down payment. It’s likely the biggest sum of money you will ever have to set aside for a purchase. With the push to have upwards of 20% of the total cost of the home in your bank account, it is easy to get overwhelmed and to feel as though you will never reach your goal. The good news is that there are ways to get into homeownership without having to save that huge, 20% number. But of course, you will still need to come up with a good amount of money.
Here are some unique ways that you can save up for the home of your dreams:
1) Consider getting a loan from a friend or family member that knows they can trust you. If you have a wedding coming up, rather than filling up a registry with items you don’t necessarily need (such as fine china that will never be used), request that guests contribute money to a down payment fund. At the very least, it’s worth a shot and could bring in a portion of the down payment money. If friends and family are able to help, it can certainly make a positive difference for you.
2) Look into all of your options. Government assistance is available to help those who need it. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development might be able to assist you with regards to closing costs and the down payment, depending on your income level. If you are a veteran, EMT or law enforcement officer, you might qualify for a discount or you might even be able to have part of your loan covered. Check with the HUD to see which options are available to you.
3) See what kind of help you can get from the seller. Often times, sellers are willing to lessen or even cover closing costs in order to make a sale. This means more money towards your down payment. Look for places that you can save money, and take advantage of them. Taking the time to talk with your real estate agent about concessions can prove extremely helpful.
4) Look into what your employer might offer. Some employers are participants in Employer Assisted Housing Programs. As a low-income worker, you might be able to get much-needed help with your down payment.
5) Finally, check into special lender programs. By partaking in some of the programs available to you, you could end up only needing to put down 3% for a down payment. FHA mortgages only ask for 3.5% down and a credit score of at least 500. First-time buyer programs can save you a tremendous amount of money upfront. Ask questions and do your research!
Coming up with the money for a down payment doesn’t have to be a daunting, stressful task. Perhaps your goal is to ultimately save 20% – in this case, cutting back on spending wherever and whenever possible is probably on the top of your to-do list. Sure, you can make it a point to save money by buying used when it comes to items like clothing or furniture and saving the difference. You can use online sites to clip coupons to save on groceries, or add-ons like Honey to automatically apply coupon codes when you check out. It is always a wise idea to live at least slightly beneath your means, but you don’t have to live uncomfortably in order to come up with a down payment if you consider some of the aforementioned options that are available to you. If you are renting while shopping for a home, make sure you are getting the best deal. Get rid of cable if you don’t really need it. Adjust repayment plans for student loans if possible. And remember to think outside of the box!
Let me show you homes in the Greater Austin Area where a USDA mortgage loan with a 0% down payment is completely possible!