Strategies to Save for a Down Payment on a House in 2024

Buying a house is an exciting milestone, but saving for the down payment can be a daunting task. According to a 2023 survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 38% of first-time homebuyers identified saving for a down payment as the most challenging aspect of the homebuying process. To help you navigate this financial hurdle, we’ve compiled several strategies to save for a down payment on a house in 2024. These are some of the helpful strategies to save for a Down Payment on a House in 2024. 


Determine Your Down Payment Goal

The first step to saving for a down payment is understanding how much you need to save. While a 20% down payment is a common goal, it’s not always necessary. Down payment requirements vary depending on the mortgage type:

– Conventional loans: With certain conventional mortgage loans, such as Freddie Mac’s Home Possible or HomeOne programs, you may be able to put down as little as 3% of the home price.

– FHA loans: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loans with down payments as low as 3.5% of the purchase price, but you’ll need a credit score of at least 580.

– VA loans: Eligible veterans and service members can purchase a home with no down payment using a VA loan, backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

– USDA loans: The US Department of Agriculture offers these loans to borrowers in qualifying rural areas with no down payment required.

– Jumbo loans: Mortgages above the conforming loan limits ($766,550 in 2024 for most areas) require a 20% down payment.


Keep in mind that if your down payment is less than 20%, you’ll likely have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI) or mortgage insurance premiums (MIP), which can add to your out-of-pocket costs.


Create and Stick to a Budget

The foundation of any savings plan is a budget. Review your income and expenses, assigning specific figures to each category. Track every dollar spent and compare your actual spending to your budget, making adjustments as needed.

Reduce Unnecessary Expenses

Examine your monthly expenses and identify ways to cut back. For example, reducing your dining-out budget or canceling a streaming service can result in significant savings.

Increase Your Income

Boosting your income is another effective way to reach your savings goal faster. Ask for a raise, get a side hustle, or sell unwanted items.

Earn a Better Return on Your Savings

Where you park your down payment savings matters. Consider high-yield savings accounts, CD accounts, or money market accounts to earn higher returns on your savings.[3][5]


Set Up Automated Savings

Automating transfers from your checking account to your savings account can help you stay consistent and ensure seamless savings.

Put Windfalls Directly into Savings

When you receive a large sum of money, such as a tax return or bonus, consider depositing it directly into your down payment fund.

Explore Down Payment Assistance Programs

Your city or state may offer down payment assistance programs that help cover some of the costs. Use the US Department of Housing and Urban Development website to find programs in your area.

Put Other Savings Goals on Hold

If you’re serious about saving for a down payment, you may need to pause other savings goals, such as retirement savings or vacations.

Consider a Cash Back Credit Card

Cash back credit cards can help you earn rewards on your spending that you can add to your down payment fund. Just be sure to pay off your balance each month to avoid interest charges.

Pay Down Debt

Paying down debt not only lowers your debt-to-income ratio, making it easier to qualify for a mortgage, but also frees up more money each month to save for a down payment.

Additional Costs to Save For

A down payment is just one of the costs associated with homeownership. Be sure to save for closing costs, moving expenses, emergency funds, utility deposits, and home maintenance.



Q: How long does it take to save for a down payment?

A: The time it takes to save for a down payment depends on your savings rate, the home price, and the down payment amount. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few months to several years to save a 20% down payment, depending on your financial situation.


Q: What is a good budget to save for a house?

A: Aim to save at least 20% for a down payment, but remember, this varies based on the house price and loan terms. Consider additional costs like closing fees, which are 3-6% of the loan amount, and remember, the more you save, the better your loan conditions and interest rates.


Q: How much house can I afford with $10k down?

A: With a $10,000 down payment, targeting a home price around $50,000 with an FHA loan is feasible, assuming you meet the 3.5% minimum down payment requirement. For conventional loans aiming for a 20% down, you’d be looking at homes priced around $50,000, though such homes may be challenging to find in many markets. Always factor in additional costs and make sure the monthly payments are manageable within your budget.

By implementing these strategies and staying disciplined with your savings, you can make significant progress towards your down payment goal and achieve the dream of homeownership in 2024.

Leave a Comment