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

posted 6 years ago in Weddingbee
Post # 17
1835 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

@MrsPanda99:  How has the rental process gone? Darling Husband owned a house for several years before we met, and now we’re buying a house together so we’re renting out his hold house – I’m a little paranoid! Any advice on being a landlord?

Post # 18
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@Mrs. Wallaby:  I have been really lucky and had really great tenants (except for one). My best advice is to screen as much as possible. I do credit checks, police checks, reference checks, and proof of income. I also meet the person at least 3 times to get a “feel” for them. It’s similar to job interviews though – folks always put on their best face.

It is definitely a gamble and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who couldn’t fix things on their own or had an Fiance who could. Fiance has renovated all of my properties and any time an issue comes up, he is able to fix it (hiring contractors is expensive). Also, we try to avoid young renters except in our student houses. I much prefer families as we have had better luck with them and they tend to be over partying.

PM if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help!! 🙂 

Post # 19
2362 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - B&B

Funny you should ask because we JUST became homeowners on the 18th!!!!!

It honestly just kind of happened… When I graduated in 2011, I was not able to find a job in my major and I got an ok paying job at the end of that summer. I wasn’t able to save too much, but I could save some.

Meanwhile, my Fiance was still in school, and he worked a lot and had REALLY awesome summer internships. He was able to save quite a nice little chunk of change, close to $10,000. He had been saving that up for at least 3 years.

We got engaged in Feb 2012, no immediate plans to buy a house. But he and I DID start talking about possibly buying an “income” property. He had a friend who had one and it was an excellent investement. We discussed it, hypothetically of course, and I agreed that if the opportunity presented itself I would be willing to be a landlord.

Fast forward to fall of 2012, and the market where we are located currently is INSANE. A decent house in town (3 bedroom, attic finished room, little yard, 2 full bath, not a thing wrong with the house) could be $75k-$80k. Between the FHA loan and his down payment, and the fact that loan rates are wonderful right now, we decided to go for it! Things just fell into place for us. We waited until he graduated and he luckily got a job in his field right away with somewhat decent pay, and I finally landed a job that pays me real money! It was the most grueling stupid process because we ran into a LOT of problems having brand new jobs and not being married, but we did it!

We also bought it, like I said, to be an income property. It’s a single family home turned into 3 apartments: a basement efficiency, a first floor apartment, and a second floor apartment with a finished attic. For the time, we will live in the second story, and the first floor apartment’s rent pays our monthly PITI payment. Principle, interest, taxes, and insurance. If we get a renter for the efficiency, they pretty much cover the bills: water/sewer, gas, most of th electricity, etc. So basically… if all goes to plan… other people are paying for our home AND we have a mostly free place to live! Obviously in the meantime we are saving for our own home in a few years as well as saving some money for any repairs to this one that may come up. But in a few years time we hope the equity (plus our personal savings we are able to save because we’re basically living almost payment-free) will give us the opportunity to buy some land and build our dream home!

Post # 20
615 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012 - Mother of the Bride\'s residence

We never really had savings until we got engaged, at which point we realized we had to start putting money away. We each contributed the same amount to a savings account every month, and after awhile we didn’t really miss it. After the wedding we decided to keep doing the same, knowing that we’d want to buy a house sooner rather than later. We put the money into a tax-free savings account to generate a bit more interest, and that has become our down payment. We borrowed a bit from my father to deal with closing costs and legal fees, but if we didn’t keep saving after the wedding we would have had absolutely nothing!

Post # 21
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@terpalum10:  +1 

This is exactly what I did. I bought my house a year ago, I was 23 and right out of college. With 100% financing I put no money down, had seller pay closing costs and prepaids, and luckily my uncle is a home inspector so he did it for free. Down side to a USDA loan? Because I did 100% financing, I owe more on my mortgage than my house is worth even after paying on it for a year. So, I will have to rent my house when SO and I decide to purchase a bigger home in a few years or lose a lot of money.

Post # 22
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@ceemarie7:  Yes that’s a good point! We hit the jackpot and found an immaculate house in our ideal location, so we have no intention of moving for the next 20 years or so. The house is 20 years old and needs a kitchen update, but I’m actually looking forward to that and making the house into our own. Good luck with yours!

Post # 23
13095 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’ve always been a saver.  I got a savings account in elementary school and would save almost all of my allowance.  And then when I made money babysitting, refereeing, etc in middle school and high school, I saved most all of it too.  I even had investments in mutual funds and a Roth IRA in high school.  A large portion of the money that went towards our downpayment was money that’d I’d made before I ever graduated college.

Because of that, we were financially ready to buy a house multiple years before we actually did.  We just needed to wait until we were in a city where we saw ourselves staying for the long term.  And when that happened, we’d bought a house within a matter of months.

Post # 24
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m really scared after reading this. I want to buy a house so we can start on having babies because the current house we are renting is literally falling apart. We have such a great deal but it’s hard to save because my husbands boss keeps messing up our taxes that delves into our savings. I live in Baltimore and it’s so expensive here. I thought it would be better to buy a house now even if we have only 3% down but I’m reading and you guys are putting 40% down! We are not moving I guess Cry.


Post # 26
8146 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

I cannot answer from complete personal experience, but I watched my DH buy his home. (He was only my Boyfriend or Best Friend at the time). He saved up 20% down, and paid down credit cards so he’d look better to the bank! He used some money from an IRA account from an old job, and made sure to offer low! He bought a fixer upper, and we used the saved money for repairs and renovations to make it our own.  🙂

Post # 27
8470 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

Right after I got engaged, I saved $1000 per month and put it towards a “wedding fund.”  My mom offered to pay for our wedding, so I used the $19,000 I had saved for the length of our engagement and our wedding gifts towards our down payment.  Granted we could only put down 15% and not the standard 20%, we still managed to buy a beautiful, move-in ready home.

Post # 28
8146 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

BUMP!  These are such interesting answers! I’d love to hear more!

Post # 29
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009


After having purchased two homes (one when I was 21 and one when I was 24) in South Florida, I can say that the best way to save for a house (for us, at least) is: 

1. do not go shopping unless you need the item you are going to purchase; i.e. not going to the mall just because.   

2.  do not eat out/ pack a lunch to work


Post # 31
10363 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

@Mrs. Penguin:  Do you have any tips to share? In the past, you mentioned that you own a place in Berkeley (howdy, neighbor!) which is quite a feat with the cost of living here. Any savings tips you feel comfortable sharing?

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