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Saving For A Down Payment

An article by the Chronicle Herald

There are many milestones in life. Getting an education, landing that job you’ve always wanted, getting married, and buying your first home, just to name a few. Most of these milestones come with some level of financial commitment — and purchasing a home is usually the largest.

According to the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS®’ (NSAR) Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System, the average sale price for a home sold in Nova Scotia in July was $218,744. If you wished to put down a payment of 20 per cent, you would need to save more than $40,000. If you want to put down less, such as a five per cent down payment, you would be taking out a high-ratio mortgage that would require insurance by a third party and in the long-term, cost you more money.

To get a better idea as to what costs you may incur when buying a home, and how much of a down payment you may need for your first home, seek the advice of a REALTOR®. Their professional education and experience will make sure you’re on the right track to achieving your goal.

Once you have an idea of what costs you’ll be faced with when buying a new home, it’s time to start saving. Here are some helpful money-saving tips for you to get to your new home faster:

Keep track of where your money is going

Start keeping your receipts. Once a week, log all the money you’ve spent so you can see where it’s all going. An alternative tool is Mint.com. This tool analyzes your debit/credit transactions. Once you have a handle on where your money is going, you’ll discover areas where you may be over spending.

Cut your spending where appropriate

Things like eating out every day for lunch will add up. Take a look at where your money is going and find areas where you could cut some spending and put that money into a savings.

Put a little bit away each pay cheque

Don’t wait until the end of the month to see what money you have left. Determine an amount you are comfortable with putting away immediately and you’ll watch your savings grow. This works with the “out of sight, out of mind” concept. Once you’ve consciously put the money away in your savings, you may be less likely to take it out.

Do some shopping

Shop around for the lowest possible rates for your monthly expenses. If you haven’t shopped around in awhile, check out other companies for car/house/tenants insurance, cable or Internet services, mobile phone service, etc. You may be surprised with what you find.