Survey: Save for 3 Years for a Down Payment

August 3, 2016

Home owners who had to save up to buy a home spent an average of three years shoring up their finances before they had enough for a down payment, according to a new survey of more than 2,000 Americans commissioned by NerdWallet and conducted by Harris Poll.  

One in four home owners overall say they saved money individually on a monthly basis to afford their down payment, which includes 42 percent of millennial home owners, ages 18 to 34, and 29 percent of Gen X home owners, ages 35 to 54, according to the survey.

"Home buyers should work closely with their real estate agent to find properties that aren't at the top of their budget to keep affordability in check," says Chris Ling, head of home buying and mortgages for NerdWallet. "Also, working on a consistent savings plan for a down payment and closing costs, as well as addressing any outstanding credit issues, will increase homebuyers' chances of qualifying for better mortgage rates."

The survey also found that about seven in 10 Americans — or 71 percent — have fears about buying a home. The top fears cited are home repairs (36%), the financial commitment of home ownership (35%), not having enough money for other expenses (35%), and the long-term commitment it means to their partner (9%).

Source: “Nearly Half of Couples Split Home Down Payment, NerdWallet Survey Finds,” NerdWallet (Aug. 2, 2016)