How much should we save for a down payment? You’ve decided to buy your first house, or you know you need to move and you’re trying to plan. The down payment is one of the things you can start planning for even a year or two in advance.
So, how much should you save for a down payment?
- Decide how much you want to spend. Overall, you should base your down payment on your budget. How much are you willing to spend on a house? Be realistic. Look at the neighborhoods you’re interested in and come armed with a list of must-haves – a yard for the kids, a two car garage, 3 bedrooms – and gauge your budget by what the houses in that neighborhood are being sold for. Plan accordingly.
- Aim for 20%. When you save for a down payment, try to aim to have 20% of the home’s value set aside. Why 20%? It’s a common recommendation when you save for a down payment because at that threshold, you no longer have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI. PMI basically protects the lender should you default on your loan. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is an extra premium you pay.
- Make a plan. Decide how much you want to lay aside each month to save for your down payment. We usually suggest setting a goal purchase date and dividing 20% of your budget by the number of months you have to save.
- Crunch the numbers. It’s always a challenge to save for any big purchase. Figure out where you can pinch pennies, and where you and your partner agree you can’t. Another thing to do is focus on shoring up your credit, as it plays a factor in what kind of mortgage you can get.
Hopefully this helps you see action steps you can take to save for a down payment! It doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds. And when you’re ready to buy the perfect house, give us a call! We’re a Christian Mortgage lender that values faith and family, just like you. We’d love to help.
The Christian Mortgage Mom