Determine how much you need.
Before determining what your down payment should be, you have to figure out how much you can afford to pay for a house. Most professionals recommend a down payment equal to 20% of your home’s cost and a monthly mortgage payment of no more than 25% of your monthly income. Use a mortgage calculator to set a budget and down payment goal.
Find places to save.
The more money you can set aside for your down payment, the faster you’ll reach your goal. Instead of keeping your down payment money in a traditional savings account, look into accounts that offer higher interest rates, such as a high-yield savings account, certificate of deposit (CD), or a money market account. Accounts like these allow you to save faster without contributing more. Investments are another way to reach your goal. Just be aware that the higher the return, the higher the risk, and you may end up losing money in the process.
Speak with a financial advisor.
The internet has a lot of information; however, finding information that applies to your exact situation can be hard. Instead, talk to a financial advisor. Financial advisors can help you establish a budget, find opportunities to cut back on your expenses, and save money. They can also help you budget for new expenses, evaluate your mortgage options, and set a practical housing budget when the time comes to buy your home.
Set a date.
Once your plan is in place, you should be able to get an idea of how long it will take you to reach your down payment goal. Figure out how much money you will need to save each year, week, or paycheck to ensure you’re left with a comfortable amount to live on. Once you confirm, set a specific date for when your down payment will be ready. Then you can start looking for a home.