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How Much Time Do You Need To Save for a Down Payment?

One of the biggest hurdles homebuyers face is saving for a down payment. As you’re budgeting and planning for your home purchase, you’ll want to understand how much you’ll need to put down and how long it will take you to get there. The process may actually move faster than you think.

Using data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Apartment List, we can estimate how long it might take someone earning the median income and paying the median rent to save up for a down payment on a median-priced home. Since saving for a down payment can be a great time to practice budgeting for housing costs, this estimate also uses the concept that a household should not pay more than 28% of their total income on monthly housing expenses.

How Much Time Do You Need To Save for a Down Payment? | Keeping Current Matters

According to the data, the national average for the time it would take to save for a 10% down payment is right around two and a half years (2.53). Residents in Iowa can save for a down payment the fastest, doing so in just over one year (1.31). The map below illustrates this time (in years) for each state:

What if you only need to save 3%?

How Much Time Do You Need To Save for a Down Payment? | Keeping Current Matters

What if you’re able to take advantage of one of the 3% down payment programs available? It’s a common misconception that you need a 20% down payment to buy a home, but there are actually more affordable options and down payment assistance programs available, especially for first-time buyers. The reality is, saving for a 3% down payment may not take several years. In fact, it could take less than a year in most states, as shown in the map below:

Bottom Line

Wherever you are in the process of saving for a down payment, you may be closer to your dream home than you think. Talk to your local real estate professional to learn more about the down payment options available in your area and how they support your plans.

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Kayla Slavensky

As your Realtor I would love to help make the home buying or selling process as smooth and enjoyable as possible. I have lived in Northern California for over 10 years, while traveling periodically throughout California and other states, and I feel confident that I can help you find a great home that meets your wants and needs or sell a home that no longer meets your wants and needs. Throughout your journey of buying a home I will work hard to show you different homes that meet your needs, schedule and oversee the inspection process, negotiate for you, and complete all paperwork all while accompanying you through the escrow process. Selling your home can be an enjoyable process. I promise to listen to your desires to help present your property in the most professional and eye-catching manner to ensure it sells for a great price.

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