Congratulations! If you’re considering buying a new home, now is a fantastic time to do it! Choosing to invest in the American Dream is an exciting decision, but, as you probably know, it’s also a big responsibility. In fact, for most people, purchasing a home will be the single largest investment they’ll ever make. That’s why it’s critically important to know a little bit about what you’re doing before you get started.

First things first: Where are you going to get the money to buy a new home? Saving up for a house down-payment can seem daunting, but with some savvy planning, it’s possible. In order to know the goal you’re working towards, though, you need to know what price range you’re looking at.

Take a look at this article for tips on shopping for a new home. Even when you’re not quite ready to move, narrowing down the location and type of home you’re wanting will allow you to compare prices better. Then you can come up with a price range for your target down-payment goal. Most experts agree you should be prepared to put down 20% of a home’s selling price when you purchase it. The more you can put down, the less you need to borrow (and pay interest on), so it makes sense to save up.

OK, so you know how much money you need. How can you save up?

Take a look at how much you already have saved compared to your goal amount. Then, it’s time to reevaluate your spending habits and see what you can do to accelerate savings.

Here are some ideas for savvy savings:

Cut back on unnecessary purchases: After you pay for the basics (rent, other bills, insurance, food, transportation, etc.), where does your money go? If you’re like most Americans, it goes towards little luxuries like eating out, magazine subscriptions, entertainment, new clothes, coffee, etc. Evaluate what things are needed and what things could be cut down. Remember, the decision to buy a home is a big one, and it may require sacrificing short-term pleasures in pursuit of long-term ones.

Look for additional sources of income: Beyond cutting your expenses, finding ways to increase your cash inflow is the best way to put away more money into savings. Brainstorm to see what additional income sources you can come up with!

Use all the information above to create a plan that works for you, and you should be able to estimate a timeline of savings, knowing approximately when you’ll be ready to purchase.

To stay motivated, keep your eye on the goal: browse the for-sale-by-owner listings at!