How to Save Money for a House: Steps to Get Moving

Set a savings target, make saving automatic and look for ways to minimize expenses when saving for a house.
Barbara Marquand
By Barbara Marquand 
Updated
Edited by Beth Buczynski Reviewed by Michelle Blackford

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Saving enough money to buy a house might seem like scaling Mount Everest, but don't let that stop you from taking the first steps. Once you get moving, you might find the peak more accessible than you expected.

Here's how to make the climb:

1. Set goals to save for a house

Decide a total money target and a deadline for getting there. Here are the main things you'll need to save for:

  • The down payment. This is the upfront cash that a borrower pays when getting a mortgage to buy a home. Down payment requirements vary by mortgage type and by lender. Some may be as low as 3%. A down payment calculator can help you determine an amount to save.

  • Closing costs. These are the fees you pay to finalize a mortgage and are typically about 2% to 5% of the loan amount.

  • Moving and other expenses after you buy the home. Even if the house is in turnkey condition, you may find yourself making a surprising number of trips to hardware and home furnishing stores.

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Check Rate

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5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Rocket Mortgage - PURCHASE logo

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580

Min. down payment 
3.5%

Check Rate

on Rocket Mortgage

Better - PURCHASE logo
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4.5

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