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Any one of you made a plan to save for your home’s down payment? My SO and I have to just start with this process and your experience and lessons learnt will help us plan and achieve our goal efficiently.

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What worked for me is buying as soon as possible in the worst home in a nice area that will appreciate. Don’t wait to find your “dream home”, find one that’s good enough at a low price point for the area and make it yours. You’ll build equity and appreciation value then be able to buy into your dream home in a couple of years. To save for the down payment - I lived INCREDIBLY frugally for 3 years. At the time was able to save $50k and that’s what I needed.

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Would echo this, followed the same approach. Had to sacrifice two of the things that I really wanted (closet by the front door, and a 1.5 bath instead of 2), in the house will need a fair bit of work. However, it's in an excellent area. The question I asked my realtor was, "is this a good investment?" It has been. The value of the house has increased almost 100k in the last year.

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Figure out what kind of mortgage you want and how much you want your monthly payment to be. For my first home, I went with 5% down and wanted my mortgage to be no more than 25% of our monthly income. We put our bonuses to the mortgage payment, cut out our extras and saved for 6 months until we could afford the 5% down. For the next house, we used the profits from the first and saved a little to put 20% down on the new house. We started with a 30 year mortgage but refinanced our mortgage twice to get to a 20 year loan with basically the same monthly payment.

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I agree with others on looking for the cheaper "first house" that you like enough to live for ~5 years, then saving for the dream house. I would try putting a monthly amount aside (as much as you can afford) and then adding in any bonuses to the pot. Choosing a cheaper rental and trying to live extra frugal with an end date in mind while you save can help a lot too.

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Agree with others here. Early mistake I made was being house poor and going too big to start. Didn’t buy my first house with resell value in mind and lost money when careers moved us around. Don’t build or be sucked in by cosmetic latest bells and whistles! Paint is cheap. Find an established neighborhood. Look for quality, functionality. Be at the lower price point in the most nicest, established neighborhood you can afford. In addition to down payment, Make sure you have an emergency fund, home ownership has a lot of surprises. It’s not all great advice, but we got a lot of value from Dave Ramsey’s 7 steps plan. Step 1: Start an Emergency Fund. ... Step 2: Focus on Debts. ... Step 3: Complete Your Emergency Fund. ... Step 4: Save for Retirement. ... Step 5: Save for College Funds. ... Step 6: Pay Off Your House. ... Step 7: Build Wealth.

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Agreed. His hyper focus on no debt isn’t that helpful either. Like I said, not all great, but some good savings tips.

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We focused more on the monthly cost than the total cost of the house. We actually built a model that would show us what the monthly rate and down payment would be, and used that to determine 1) what homes were in our price range and 2) what our down payment would be

likesmart

It sounds cliche but when I was younger and started saving I followed all of Suze Ormans advice. The only thing I didn't follow was I didn't put 20% down on my first home and paid the PMi - it was well worth it - I got enough equity in the first home and made a lot of money in the sale for my second. Decide how much home you can afford first with a monthly payment calculator- there are many free online. You may need to be frugal, get a second job for a year etc

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I would suggest using Mint to help you create a budget and plan

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No magic bullet but my husband and I both had a good amount of savings when we met. We were aligned on our goals to pay for our own wedding and buy a home soon after. We used year end payouts and bonuses in addition to direct deposits into our shared bank account. Combined we had over $300K in HCOL. Good luck OP!

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My hubs and I were lucky enough to stay rent free at my grandmothers condo when she moved to assisted living. We lived there for 9 months and were able to live frugally enough to sock away $4k a month which got us to our first down payment. You have to be extremely diligent!

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Sounds like you have to be extremely lucky 😔

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As a 22 year old I did the max Roth IRA every year for 7 years and so did my husband (then friend / boyfriend). By the time we were 30 we had a nice pot to put into the house downpayment. I really liked that the Roth enabled this to grow tax advantaged and there were no fees to take it out for the house. (We kept a 401k also). It was nice to save before we had kids!

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I used my sign on bonus *shrugs*

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