The Buzz: How did you save up for your first home?

posted 3 years ago in Weddingbee
Post # 3
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I was living in Northern Vermont, where you can get a place for 20-50K.

When I discovered my ex was cheating on me, I returned everything I had bought him for Christmas, cashed in every penny of my savings, and borrowed 1K from my parents to make the down payment. (Which was only 4K)

I lived there for almost exactly 1 year before moving in with (now) DH. It has renters in it, now!

Post # 4
446 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We live in a rural area, so we used a USDA loan to purchase our first home last year. FI and I were 24 and wanted to purchase a home before the wedding, so that we wouldn’t agonize over every dollar spent on the wedding. There is an income limit associated with USDA, so we wanted to buy before we crossed that threshold as well. If we had waited until this year to buy, our new incomes would’ve disqualified us.

I believe we only spent about $1K out of pocket (inspections and small fees); the seller paid closing costs. I got a great interest rate and I don’t pay PMI, so if you’re in a rural area (the USDA website has a map that will tell you), I highly recommend looking into this option!


Post # 5
8389 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

My parents started a college fund for me when I was a kid, I ended up going on scholarship, so the money just sat in a CD.  When I was ready to get married and settle down my mom gave me the money and said I could use it for a house or a wedding.  I picked a house (20% down), then saved up and had a small wedding a year later.


Post # 6
2657 posts
Sugar bee

We had been living together in an apartment, and we both knew that we wanted to make buying a home our priority.  While living in the apartment, we made it a goal to minimize our expenses and debt.  For me, this meant selling my old car (which constantly needed expensive repairs) and buying a new, but more reliable, car.  For him, this meant putting more money into student loan payments to reduce debt.  Together, we reduced monthly expenses by cooking meals together, getting a shared wireless plan, and commuting together.  

Originally, we had planned to live in the apartment for two years and save for a higher down payment.  But, our apartment decided to raise rates significantly after the first year; the rent was not too far off from what we currently pay on our house.  We did the math and discovered that in our case, it was better to buy the house now with the down payment we had than to wait another year for a higher down payment.  We’re really glad we made the decision because it’s been over 1 year since buying and supply is really low for houses in our town, so we likely would have had to pay more for the same house.

Post # 7
2070 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

My husband and I both put ourselves through college for the most part, and we both graduated from college debt-free. As soon as we began working full-time we began individually putting money away to save up for a house. Neither of us bought any major splurges, like a fancy car, the first few years of working, knowing that any major purchase would postpone the time we’d buy a house. The facility where I work was sold off to another company, and in the process we were offered a lot of incentives, including bonuses, to stay and continue working for the facility. I squirred away every bonus check I received, and those added up to a big part of our eventual downpayment. And the rest of the downpayment came from interest – we’ve invested our money in mutual funds with the help of a financial advisor for the last year. We close on our house on Friday!! – fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly!

Post # 8
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

My FI and I graduated without any student debt (yay!) but I was pretty much broke and he wasn’t a lot better off when we entered the working world.  For year we saved like misers, and it helped that for 6 months my FI worked away from home and had his living expenses paid for.  We managed to put $18K down (the minimum for the house we bought) after a year of saving.  His parents leant us $5K just as a float when we closed on the house, but we didn’t need it and paid it back right away.  

Post # 9
3506 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We really didn’t save up for our house. My grandpa had died and left my mom (and her siblings) a decent amount of money. My mom gave me and my sister each x amount of dollars to do whatever we wanted with and I decided to use that for the down payment. Some people have told me it’s unfair that we used all of “my” money for the down payment, but I didn’t care. It was our house & we were buying it together, it didn’t matter whose money it was.

Post # 10
605 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

we were lucky enough to fall into a home that my grandparents currently own and are renting out to a couple. we are not moving in until closer to our wedding date (end of 2014) but will start the buying process soon and let the current residents continue renting. the money we have saved will go to renovations and upgrades for the house.

Post # 11
5087 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2014

My FI lived in as part of his job as a community care support worker so he was able to save a significant amout for a deposit. His brother and dad gave him some money for the solicitor fees. His mum then helped with furnishing the flat. I’m grateful my FI refers to the flat as ours. Once we’re married I guess it will be . 

Post # 12
10454 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

I always just saved money, knowing it could go towards a wedding, house, car, whatever.

After getting married, we knew most of the money we got would go towards our downpayment.  When DH graduated and started working, our lifestyle didn’t change much, and we just kept saving.  When he was transferred closer for work, we started saving the money we spent for renting a second place.

Financially, the plan was to wait until I graduated but our rent was jumping up and we were fed up where we were.  We had enough for a 20% downpayment, plus closing costs without using our RRSPs, our comfortable chequing account balance, or a few of the investments which are currently down in value.

Things will be a bit tighter than our original plan, but we got a good interest rate, and I haven’t seen anything I like on the market since we’ve bought.  We can either ramp up savings or our mortgage payment once I’m working, which hopefully won’t be too long, and we still have breathing space with just DH’s salary.


Post # 13
1428 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rosehill Community Center

When the market looked to be just about to start turning around, interest rates were really low, and we were just emotionally ready to buy a house (he proposed, so we were definitely in it for the long haul!), we decided to start looking.  We lucked out, in the year since we bought, houses have started going immediately after being put on the market, and often for more than the list price.

We had some savings, but most of all, my fiance’s parents were willing to give us a low rate loan for the rest of the 20% down, which was very helpful.  We also were paying about the same in rent as we would be on mortgage payments, so it made sense.  We don’t regret it in the least, it was a great decision and we have the cutest house now to call our own.

Post # 14
3213 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Catholic Church

We’re just finishing university now. The plan is to stay in our cheap apartment, put all extra money into paying off student loans for 1.5 years, then put all extra money into a house down payment account for 1.5 years and we should have no debt and be able to make an offer on a house.

Post # 15
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

We lived in a small one-bedroom apartment that way way below what we could afford, only ate out once every 2 weeks, kept a strict entertainment budget, and used public transit instead of owning cars for several years. Where we live, 2 bedroom homes start at around $500k, and we wanted to put 20% down and still have an emergency fund left over, so it took a lot of dilligence and self control on our part to make it happen!!

Post # 16
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I’ve always been a saver. I had a healthy savings account in grade school and I just needed something to spend it on. When I ended a nearly 10 year relationship, I wanted to do something on my own to restore my confidence in my own abilities. I knew I was financially ready to buy a house when I had my full 20 percent down payment and a healthy balance left over for contingences. I was lucky to be able to do this early and now that house is being rented out. I have repeated that process a few times and now I have a family home and rental properties across the country (under 10 of them, but still!).

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