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 having a down payment can be a great time to practice budgeting for housing costs, this estate also uses the concept that a household should not pay more than 28% of their total income on monthly housing expenses.

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%?

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. Let’s connect to explore the down payment options available in our area and how they support your plans.

Just Listed

101 Lombard Unit 712W


This remarkable condo features exceptional finishes, wide plank floors and quality upgraded fixtures making it a lovely oasis in North Waterfront. Designed with entertaining in mind, this condo has plenty of space to move around in, also ideal for working from home. The condo also features a private terrace with views of Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill. This prestigious 5-star amenity building has Resort-style Amenities, including 24-hour concierge services, heated outdoor pool and hot tub, and a fabulous club room and library. Close to Telegraph Hill, the Ferry Building, Waterfront, Parks, North Beach, FiDi, and Transportation.

Reach out to schedule a private showing today!

Urban Chic live and work Condo For Sale!

Looking for a new Condo Space to call yours? Look no further because 2875 21st Street could be the home for you! With an open floor plan, expansive kitchen, and large private patio space, this condo is not to be missed.

This urban chic live/work loft is not to be missed. The soaring 16’ ceilings create voluminous spaces for a gracious living room, dining room, home office, Peloton, and many other flexible uses. The open floor plan flows from a generous kitchen with exposed wood beams and slate tile flooring to the great room warmed by refinished wood flooring and full height windows that showcase the amazing sunlight the Mission District has to offer and the enormous private patio that is perfect for outdoor dining and lounging. The year-round climate creates the opportunity to substantially extend your living space with indoor-outdoor living. Located amidst all that the Mission has to offer, this home is just blocks from Flour + Water, Gus’ Market, Farmhouse Kitchen, Sightglass Coffee, Mission Cliffs Climbing Gym, ODC Theater and much more. Easy access to Mission Street BART or several Muni lines, including a short ride on the 48 to CalTrain.

How to Make the Dream of Ownership a Reality This Year

1. How Can I Better Understand the Process, and How Much Can I Afford?

The process of buying a home is not one to enter into lightly. You need to decide on key things like how long you plan on living in an area, school districts you prefer, what kind of commute works for you, and how much you can afford to spend.

Keep in mind, before you start the process to purchase a home, you’ll also need to apply for a mortgage. Lenders will evaluate several factors connected to your financial track record, one of which is your credit history. They’ll want to see how well you’ve been able to minimize past debts, so make sure you’ve been paying your student loans, credit cards, and car loans on time. If your financial situation has changed recently, be sure to discuss that with your lender as well. Most agents have loan officers they trust and will provide referrals for you.

2. How Much Do I Need for a Down Payment?

In addition to knowing how much you can afford on a monthly mortgage payment, understanding how much you’ll need for a down payment is another critical step. Thankfully, there are many different options and resources in the market to potentially reduce the amount you may think you need to put down.

If you’re concerned about saving for a down payment, start small and be consistent. A little bit each month goes a long way. Jumpstart your savings by automatically adding a portion of your monthly paycheck into a separate savings account or house fund. AmericaSaves.org says:

3. Saving Takes Time: Practice Living on a Budget

As tempting as it is to pass the extra time you may be spending at home these days with a little retail therapy, putting that extra money toward your down payment will help accelerate your path to homeownership. It’s the little things that count, so start trying to live on a slightly tighter budget if you aren’t doing so already. A budget will allow you to save more for your down payment and help you pay down other debts to improve your credit score.

survey of millennial spending shows, “68% reported that shelter in place orders helped them save for their down payment.” Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, also notes:

“If there is any silver lining to the current economic landscape, it’s that mortgage rates are hanging around record lows…Additionally, shelter-in-place orders helped many who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs save for a down payment — one of the largest hurdles of buying a home. The combination of low rates and the opportunity to save is enabling many millennials to move up their home buying timeline.”

While you don’t need to cut all of the extras out of your current lifestyle, making smarter choices and limiting your spending in areas where you can slim down will make a big difference.

Bottom Line

If homeownership is on your dream list this year, take a good look at what you can prioritize to help you get there. To determine the steps you should take to start the process, let’s connect today.

Considering Selling your Home this Year? Here are 3 must do’s!

It is exciting to put a house on the market and to think about making new memories in new spaces. However, despite the anticipation of what’s to come, we can still have deep sentimental attachments to the home we are leaving behind. Growing emotions can help or hinder a sale depending on how we manage them.

When it comes to the bottom line, homeowners need to know what it takes to avoid costly mistakes when its time to move. Being mindful and prepared for the process can help you stay on the right track when selling your house this year.

1. Price Your Home Right

When inventory is low, like it is in the current market, its common to think buyers will pay whatever we ask when setting a listing price. Believe it or not, that’s not always true. Don’t forget that the buyer’s bank will send an appraiser to determine the fair value for your house. The bank will not lend more than what the house is worth, so be aware that you might need to renegotiate the price after the appraisal. A real estate professional will help you to set the true value of your home.

2. Keep Your Emotions in Check

Today, homeowners are living in their houses for a longer period of time. Since 1985, the average tenure, or the time a homeowner has owned their home, has increased from 5 to 10 years as seen in the graphic below.

This is several years longer than what used to be the historical norm. The side effect, however is when you stay in one place for so long, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. If its the first home you bought or the house where your child grew up, it very likely means something extra special to you. Every room has memories, and its hard to detach from the sentimental value.

For some homeowners, that makes it even harder to negotiate and separate the emotional value of the house from the fair market price. Thats why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations along the way.

3. Stage your home properly.

We are generally quite proud of our decor and how we’ve customized our houses to make them our own unique homes, but not all buyers will feel the same way about your design. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you stage your house with the buyer in mind.

Buyers want to envision themselves in the space so it truly feels like it could be their own. They need to see themselves inside with their furniture and keepsakes- not your pictures and decorations. Stage and declutter so they can visualize their own dreams as they walk down the hall. A real estate professional can help you with tips to get your home ready to stage and sell.

Bottom Line

Today’s sellers’ market might be your best chance to make a move. If you’re considering selling your house, lets connect so you have the help needed to navigate through the process while prioritizing these must-do’s.

The Bright Star On Sacramento Street

Take a sneak peak at a Condo Listing Coming Soon- The Bright Star on Sacramento Street

3240 Sacramento Street is a luxury 3 bedroom 2.5 bath condo filled with natural light, warm tones, and beautiful custom finishes, perfect for luxurious city living. 

This unit is located in the heart of Sacramento Street, in Pacific Heights with boutique shops, famous restaurants, and shopping centers all within walking distance.

Reach out to schedule a showing today! ⭐️