How did you save for your down payment for your home?

How did you save for your down payment on first home

  • Paid 20% down on small starter home, built equity for future down payments

    Votes: 35 33.7%
  • Inheritance or other "family" help

    Votes: 12 11.5%
  • Paid less than 20% down

    Votes: 41 39.4%
  • Other

    Votes: 16 15.4%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
Being from CA, I think I'm particulary interested in those who live in high cost areas where LBYM alone makes it tough...a first home/townhome/condo around here is about $400-500k for a 3-4 bedroom (if you have kids)...and just a year or two ago was closer to $600k-$700k for good school districts... Aside from my fantasies of relocating to CO, or renting forever, I'm curious to see what others have done.
My story will be too old for this new timeframe though. DH and I were just engaged. He had $8K saved and I had $12K saved, but we needed more. We're in the SF Bay Area. We asked our parent to give us $30K, making our down payment $80K for our $250K townhouse back in 2000. Interest rate was 10.65%, and our mortgage was $1560/month, which was the most we could (barely) afford since we made about $3,400 total before taxes. In 1999, we refinanced and took out some of the equity, $160K, and bought our current house for $400K. I have no clue how people can do this now. 20% of $700 is $140K! We would never dare to ask for that type of help, nor would they have had the money!
i never figured out how to get that high paying job as a college dropout but worked my butt off for family construction and saved enough for a 10% downpayment on a house. then a construction accident set me back a few years right while i started house hunting. workman's comp idiot was convinced i was in cahoots with my parents who owned the company and so they did their very best to screw me. cost me about $20k of my own money for bills, living expenses while laid up & retraining.

on recovery, i had the genius idea of going into publishing so i got a degree and landed myself a $6/hour job at a local newspaper. a few years and jobs later i'd finally saved up enough money to house hunt once more. but i was even dumber then than now about finance and so only saved in a savings account. i had enough for a little florida cracker house in a little florida crack town so i worked on the house and worked on the town and seems all that effort paid off pretty well.

and then i inherited anyway. damn, i could have been a beach bum that entire time.
We had a VA loan and did not put any money down. We were not that good at saving money at that time, but we were good at making our payments. We have bought 3 homes and all 3 were VA loans with 0 down. We paid $70,000.00 for the home that we are living in now and paid it off within 10 years.
I had to vote other.
We put 20% down on a house that we grew into (4 bed, 2.5 bath).

How we saved:
1) Only bought what we needed for 1 year prior to our engagement, then subsequent wedding, then pregnant, then house (literally all within 1.5 years).
2) Wife's paycheck went straight into the money market account (it was paying 7%-8% back then).
We saved all of her take-home pay, plus part of mine to make sure we put down 20% when we settled on the house.
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