Thinking about buying a home in New York City in the near future? You’d better start saving – now – as you’ll need to come up with a considerable amount of cash. After all, StreetEasy analysis shows that the typical down payment in New York City is 25 percent of the home’s value.
Sure, there are wide variations between boroughs and even between neighborhoods, but even so, this is more than the country’s standard of 20 percent. And we’re talking, potentially, about producing several hundred thousand dollars as a down payment.
Here are some easy ways to start saving for one of largest purchases you’ll ever make:
Automate, Automate, Automate
How much can you set aside each month? Take a look at the numbers and figure this out, choosing a fixed amount or percentage of each paycheck to get directly deposited from either your paycheck or from your checking account into a designated down payment account. This is one of the easiest ways to save, particularly since you won’t miss money that you don’t see.
Personalize Your Savings Accounts
Assign a meaningful name to your savings account-like “dream home” or “city living,” for example. This will not only make your goal of becoming a homeowner seem more tangible, but you’ll actually also save more. How much more? Research shows that those who label their savings accounts with specific goals put away 31 percent more money than those who don’t.
Downsize Your Current Housing
Lowering your housing costs can be a very effective way to save a large amount of money quickly.
For some workers, that may include living with mom and dad or an extended family for a few years to save money you’d otherwise be paying in rent. If you already have a place and there’s enough space for a roommate, consider bringing one in. More people are doing this, particularly as rents in New York City continue to skyrocket.
Consider this: while a rent-to-income ratio of 30 percent or lower is considered “affordable,” the median asking rent in New York City in much, much more, according to StreetEasy estimates. It’s not uncommon for city dwellers to be shelling two-thirds of their income for rent each month! A roommate may be the solution.
Take a good, hard look at what money is coming in the door and what money is going right back out (apps like Mint can be useful). Are you spending too much on entertainment? Dining out? Make some changes. Just packing your own lunch can potentially save a few thousand dollars a year.
Stash Any Windfalls
Did you get a tax refund? Any kind of bonus? Earnings from a side gig? Don’t blow this money! Put it away into that aforementioned designated account and build up your savings even faster.
Visualize Your Goal
This may sound a little “out there” but I know it works for some people so here it goes .. put some photos of your dream house/condo/co-op on your refrigerator, or near your office workspace — and consider wrapping a small one around your primary credit card in your wallet. It could inspire you to charge less and save more.
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