One of the hardest parts about buying a home is saving for the down payment. Many first-time home buyers feel like it takes forever to save enough to buy a home. However, it doesn't have to take forever. Here are a few tips to help you save for your down payment faster.
Get Credit Card Debt Out of Your Life
Credit cards eat up a ton of your cash and the high-interest cards are the worst. While you may have been thrilled to have the card in an emergency, they may be keeping you from saving for your down payment now.
While it may sound like you should just save the money, paying off credit card debt first will make it easier to save. In addition, it will raise your credit score, which may help you qualify for a lower down payment.
Check for Lost Money
You may have lost money out there you never knew about. The U.S. Department of Treasury claims there is nearly $24 billion of bonds that have gone unredeemed. You may also have old bank accounts or unclaimed property out there. Make sure you check for lost money as it could help you save for your down payment.
Don't Spend the Tax Return
Maybe you usually spend your tax return on a vacation or something new for yourself. This year, save it towards your down payment. This can be one of the easiest ways to boost your down payment savings and make it possible to get into a house much sooner.
It's even possible to have your return directly deposited into a special account where you're saving for your down payment. This could get you there much faster than waiting several years as you spend your tax return on something else.
Automate Your Savings
Instead of counting on your own will power to get you to the end goal, automate your down payment savings. You can set up an automated direct deposit to put a percentage of your earning directly into an account for savings. This is a great way to ensure you save without missing the money. You'll get used to it not being there and the next thing you know; you've saved enough for a down payment.
Use your 401K or IRA
While it may not be the best way to go, first-time home buyers are allowed to withdraw as much as $10K from their IRA without a penalty. If you're married and you're both first-time buyers, you can both get $10K. You can also pull from your 401K, if necessary to get to the amount you need for your down payment faster.
It's possible to replenish your retirement savings over time after you've bought your house. In most cases, getting the house will help keep you from wasting money on rent.
Since you may need a large sum of money for the down payment, you want to make sure you save as much as possible. Use these tips to help save faster and you'll be shopping for a home in no time.