Becoming a homeowner is a huge achievement, especially for a low-income earner. It’s a financial goal that requires good planning to achieve. In this article, we discuss seven realistic tips on how to save money for a house to help kick-start your journey to becoming the newest Landlord/Landlady. 😉
How to save money for a house
1. Set a realistic timeline
Unless you have the money already, you need a realistic timeline for when you hope to have it to buy a house. This timeline, of course, depends on the individual. For instance, a newly wedded couple will be more in a hurry to buy a house than someone who just finished school, or just got a new job. One could be looking at a 2-year period while the other is fine with 5 years. Either way, timelines help you work and plan smarter.
2. Automate your savings
Once you have set a workable timeline, you also need to set a realistic regular savings amount. It can be 20 – 30% of your monthly income but you need to stick to it. One sure way to not achieve your goal by that set timeline is missing your savings. This is what automation will handle for you. Decide if you are fine with weekly, or monthly deductions and leave the rest to the savings app.
3. Don’t rush
To be honest, unless you are incredibly wealthy, saving for and buying a house takes time. Don’t cave in to the pressure that you have to quickly move into your own space. You have other bills to sort out and unless you want them to suffer while you’re saving for the house, then you need to give yourself a healthy amount of time.
4. Lifestyle fit
If you move around or get transferred from work a lot, then buying a house might not be a good option in the short term, especially if you don’t have a family yet. You also shouldn’t buy something luxurious if you have a conservative lifestyle. This is because buying the house is only half of the entire plan. Think of maintenance and the stress of keeping up with a house that doesn’t suit your lifestyle.
One thing that will help your savings goal to not only be realistic but also much closer to reach is affordability. The higher the price of the property, the longer it will take to save up for it. A very expensive home will slow down your dream of being a homeowner, especially if your income is not that high.
6. Cut down your expenses
Cutting down unnecessary spending means that you live within or even below your means. The money you gain from being frugal can be added to the money you hope to save for a house. For example, suppose you usually splurge 50k on something irrelevant every month. If you redirect this into your housing fund, you can save an additional 600k in a year.
7. Multiple streams of income
Instead of trying to manage and budget only one income, having multiple streams can speed up your saving. If with only one income, you have to wait for 4 years before you have a substantial amount for a house, having multiple income streams can literally get it done in half the time.
Unless you are an expert in building and real estate, never go to buy a house alone. Make sure you consult with experts that you trust, perhaps a real estate agent or a building surveyor. When you find your desired property, ask the necessary questions and be sure you are satisfied with the answers you get.
- if the land is government approved
- why the owner wants to sell
- if the house papers/documents are intact
- what the area is like during a flood
- the cost of utilities, etc.
Where should you save the money for a house?
Planning to buy a house in about five years or less? Then, you could either keep the money in low-risk investments with high returns or a high-yield savings account where you know you can quickly get the money, especially if you plan to use a portion of it for a down payment.
Avoid keeping money in high-risk investments because you want to multiply it quickly. You could lose your capital.
Saving for a house is saving for the future in some way. As much as you might be in a hurry to be a homeowner, be patient and remove yourself from undue pressure. Lastly, be sure to ask the right questions when you’re ready to acquire one.