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A down payment for a home purchase generally ranges from 3% up to 20% of the price of the home, but there are first time home buyer loan programs available with zero down payment requirements, as well.
You may not realize that some loan programs allow you to use gift funds for a down payment. So, here is idea #1.
1. Consider Gift Funds
Some specialty loan programs allow you to use gift funds for your down payment. If you have a family member, business partner, or employer who wants to gift you a down payment, gift fund programs can help you use that gift to get into your new home.
Supplementing Your Income
Looking for ways to save more money faster? If you are looking for creative ways to increase your income, here are some money-making ideas that don’t involve getting a second (or third) job.
2. Make money online.
One of the most legitimate ways of making money online is to offer your services as a virtual assistant (VA). If you have a reliable internet connection, you could pick up jobs ranging from writing, graphic design, researching, editing, transcription, data entry, and more. A few hours online on the weekend could help you earn some extra cash fast.
3. Sell your photos.
Stock photo companies such as Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, and 123RF will pay you for your images. If you love taking pictures, follow the submission guidelines and you could get paid every time one of your images is downloaded.
4. Sell your stuff.
You know what they say… one person’s junk really can be another’s treasure. It’s time to get rid of the unwanted or unneeded items you have collecting dust throughout your home. Have a yard sale, or list unwanted items on Craigslist or eBay. Clothing and furniture can be sold through your local consignment store. You can even sell unused electronics and even gift cards for some extra cash.
5. Monetize your hobbies.
What’s your favorite hobby? You may be surprised to find it may be something you can monetize. You can sell handmade items on Etsy, such as knitted scarves, crocheted baby blankets, or hand sewn clothing. For the not-so crafty, consider catering your friend’s baby showers or parties, or offering tutoring or music lessons to the neighbor kids.
6. Go treasure hunting.
If you like to spend your weekends at garage sales and flea markets, start looking for something other than antiques. Scrap metals, such as copper, brass, aluminum, and steel, can be exchanged at scrap yards for cash. Take a magnet with you; it won’t stick to the more valuable metals such as copper and brass. If someone is literally giving away an ugly pair of brass bookends, take that brass and turn it into cash at the scrap yard.
7. Return to your pre-teens.
Remember when babysitting, pet sitting, dog walking, house sitting, and lawn mowing was your main avenue for making money? Your friends, coworkers, family members, and neighbors would be thrilled to pay someone they know and trust to watch over their little ones while they go on a date, or to take care of Fido while they are out of town for the weekend.
Here are some other creative ideas to build up your savings:
8. Adjust your insurance.
If you aren’t using your car to commute, you may find it’s possible to adjust your auto insurance coverage and save money on your monthly premiums. Talk to your insurance broker about other ways to save, such as increasing your deductible amounts or combining multiple policies with the same provider.
9. Ditch cable.
Cancelling your cable doesn’t have to be a major sacrifice. With digital services, such as Hulu and Netflix that allow you to stream movies and TV shows, you can still stay caught up with your favorite show or movies at a fraction of the price.
10. Keep track of your spending.
The easiest way to see where your money is going is to create a budget and track your spending. Keep track of every single purchase and payment that goes out of your account. You can use a spreadsheet, budget software program, or even an app such as Mint Money Manager from Intuit to keep track of where your money goes. You may be surprised how much you are spending on non-essentials and impulse buys.
11. Go on a spending “diet.”
Put yourself on a 30-day spending diet. For one month, drastically cut your spending to only essential purchases. Every week, deposit the money you’ve saved on clothing, dining out, or new gadgets into your savings account.
12. Set it and forget it.
One of the easiest ways to get more money into your savings account is to set up an automatic deposit. Instead of having your entire paycheck deposited straight into your checking account, select a specific amount to go into your savings account automatically.
13. Shop smarter.
Groceries are an essential item, but you can slash your grocery budget by shopping smarter. Make a list before you go to the store and stick with it to avoid impulse buys. Don’t shop on an empty stomach. Buy items in bulk, or purchase the generic “store brand” rather than big name brands. Look for sales and coupons for the items you stock up on regularly.
Whether you have a down payment of 3%, 5%, or 20%, or just need to come up with some extra cash for closing costs, all it takes is a little creativity to get there. From saving more of the money you already make, to increasing your income with out of the box money-making ideas, a little extra effort can help you get into your new home in no time at all.
If you want more information about the loan programs, first time buyer programs, or down payment assistant programs available to you, contact our Mortgage Loan Advisor who can show you all of your options for achieving your goal of homeownership. And if you are wondering how much home you can afford, check out our mortgage calculator tool to help give you a good idea of how much you may want to save towards your new home.
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