One of the more common ways to build wealth over time is owning a home. As owners pay down the mortgage, they are able to build up equity. Should they decide to sell the home, they can then tap this equity. The homeownership rate in the US was 63.8 percent in October 2016. While this was down from what it was a few years ago, this statistic shows that owning a home is still a popular way to build wealth.

It’s recommended that prospective buyers save up 20 percent of the home’s value as a down payment. This will allow the buyer to avoid private mortgage insurance, which can be quite expensive and only protects the lender. FHA loans only require a 3.5 percent down payment, and loans via the USDA or the VA require no money down. If you’re not in a rural area or a veteran, here are some ways to build up the down payment that’s necessary to buy a new home.

Live In Affordable Accommodations

When it comes to the biggest expenses that most people will have on a monthly basis, the cost of lodging will usually come up near the top of the list. The average cost of rent in the United States is $1,231 a month. That’s more than a quarter of the median family income. The best way to save money on rent is to find a place to live that’s on the low side of the local market rate. While there won’t be as many amenities in cheap apartments or homes, the money that’s not spent in the way of housing can go toward savings.

Just getting a cheap apartment is not the only way to save money toward a down payment. Getting a roommate can also help cut the cost of rent and free up even more cash flow for savings. For example, a three-bedroom apartment or house that costs the median of $1,200 could cost only $400 a month if one person rented out each bedroom. Put in some twin beds, and the cost could be lower. Even a married couple could rent out a room or two to save on costs. Every dollar saved on rent can then go toward saving up for a future down payment.


Cut Other Expenses

Americans are notorious for spending more money than they need to. Whether it’s a daily latte or cable television, people in the US confuse wants and needs. Basic food, lodging, clothing and transportation are necessary to live and have a job. Most everything else is a want, and there are ways to cut down on these expenses. For example, it’s not necessary to have a super expensive cell plan with unlimited data. There are prepaid options that are pretty cheap. Additionally, it’s possible to cut down on eating out or save some money by opting for Netflix or Hulu rather than an expensive cable package with every pay channel known to man. Every dollar saved from cutting out unnecessary expenses can then go toward a down payment.

Get A Side Hustle

Sometimes, one job just doesn’t pay enough to save much. This is where a side hustle can come in quite handy. There are entire online communities that are dedicated to helping people find side hustles that can bring in extra income. Every dollar earned in excess of basic living expenses can go toward the down payment. Those who can keep up the side hustle after signing off on a mortgage can even accelerate the time needed to pay off the loan.

Regardless of whether a person thinks a down payment for a new home is in the cards, there are steps that he or she can take to build up some savings. It will take time, and it’s a good idea to save up for closing costs and a deductible for home insurance claims. However, over time, building up savings for a down payment can be done by taking positive steps toward the goal.


David Glenn

David Glenn

David Glenn is a home improvement expert. He occasionally freelance writes about home maintenance and DIY home repair. He’s also knowledgeable about topics like how to improve social presence and building a reputation online.