Saving for a down payment may be the most daunting step to buying a home. It takes time, patience, and for most, a lifestyle change. These simple tricks will help you buckle down on your savings and turn your dream of buying a home into a reality.

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Cut Unnecessary Spending

Thankfully, saving up for a mortgage doesn’t have to be as grueling as your ramen-eating college days! A great way to cut costs and begin saving is to pin point money siphons that you barely notice. For example…

  • Nix your cable and stick to an online streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu!
  • Start cooking meals at home, and cut back on eating or drinking out to 1 time per week. Your bank account and waist line will thank you!
  • Utilize all the beauty that San Diego has to offer by canceling your fitness membership and bringing your exercise outside.
  • Gas usually isn’t cheap in San Diego. Plan errands, work, and leisurely activities accordingly to make the most of each tank of gas.
  • Take advantage of SDG&E Reduce Your Use days! You can earn rewards toward your monthly bill by saving energy! Learn more about the program here.
  • Save your loose change and turn them into cash at the bank or with Coinstar! Coinstar charges a fee for turning your loose change into cash, but if you choose a gift card, you can hang onto all your money! Pick a gift card to Amazon or a grocery store you normally shop at to put your saved money back into something you already need, rather than choosing a gift card to a clothing store or restaurant.

Open a Savings account

When it comes to saving money, opening a savings account can be very beneficial. You will earn interest on your money and can easily track how you are progressing towards your goal. Make sure to set up a recurring transfer from another account (for example, the one where you put your paycheck) to your savings. This is a great way to ensure you’re setting aside a little bit of each paycheck without having to think about it. If the money’s not available, you won’t spend it. Saving a small amount of the money you earn every month can really add up over time if you are consistent with your efforts!

Get the Most Out of Your Credit Card

To qualify for a mortgage, you need to have credit. A credit card allows you to build good credit, but did you also know it can help you save money? Before opening a credit card, make sure you thoroughly research their rewards program-many will give you cash back on everyday purchases like gas and groceries! Apply these cashback rewards to your credit card bill to make the most out of your card! Just be sure you pay your credit card on time, pay more than the monthly minimum, and watch out for annual fees.

Get Help!

If this is will be your first time buying a home, you can take advantage of the FHA loan program to pay a lesser down payment. You may still have to pay PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance), but depending on your situation, putting less than 20% down on a home may be the smart choice.

If you or your spouse have ever served in the military, you will want to check out the VA and CAL-VET loan programs.

You may also be eligible for down payment assistance programs.  The programs usually provide help to people below the area median in the form of a low interest loan or grant. If you have a higher income, do your research! Certain programs also offer assistance for higher-income households. Visit DownPaymentResource.com to see available resources in San Diego.

Finally, your most important resource to help you save for a down payment and determine your mortgage eligibility is to meet with a lender. They will be able to look at your situation, determine where you are, and give you advice to get where you need to be to purchase your San Diego dream home!

We can help you become a San Diego homeowner! Our agents have helped thousands of people become home owners – contact us today to get started!