10 Simple Steps to Save Up for Your Next Home Down Payment

Rachel from Chicago has a question about saving up for her home down payment.


Hey Andy! 

My husband and I are trying to save for a down payment on a house. We are pretty good at living within our means. 

Any advice on how to make this easier, smarter, more fun?! 

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15-Year Mortgage Paid Off in 5 Years

During late 2013 while I was traveling out-of-town for work, my wife Nicole found our “forever house”.

This home had everything she was looking for including an attached garage, open floor plan, updated kitchen, walk-in closet and a big backyard on a half-acre lot. She told me that this was THE ONE and as soon as I got home from out-of-town, I had to see it.

My wife has excellent taste and the majority of the time we are in sync. I wasn’t worried about liking it. I was worried about getting a BIG MORTGAGE to pay for it!

Honestly, I had been burned before. My first home purchase was a disaster. 

I bought more home than I could afford in 2004 and when the housing market tanked in metro Detroit around 2009, I owed more on the house than it was worth. I did not want to be in that position again. 

Surprisingly, when I got a look at the house Nicole found, I loved it too. It felt like home instantaneously. Even the neighbors were perfect.

We decided to go for it.

BUT… I had a few rules that we discussed to ensure we would pay off our mortgage in 5 years:

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Pay Off the 30-Year Mortgage Early or Invest?

Our first question of the month comes in from Patrick from California:


Hey Andy, can I pick your brain real quick about paying off your mortgage?

I just bought a house here in San Diego and got a 30 year fixed on it. 

If I wait 30 years to pay it off, I will have paid $162,000 in interest which doesn’t sit very well with me.

What was your reason for paying off your mortgage?  

I was thinking instead of making extra payments on the principal that I would instead invest that money. After 8-10 years I would have amassed enough to pay off the mortgage in a lump sum.

What are your thoughts on that? Invest the money or pay off the mortgage?  

My reason to accelerate paying it off is that: 

1. I hate debt  

2. Lower my monthly expenses after loan is paid off  

3. Save at least $100K in interest payment

Many thanks bro!

Patrick 


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When It Makes Sense to Refinance Your Mortgage (And When It Doesn’t)

Have you ever thought about refinancing your home? Most homeowners I know have entertained the thought at one time or another. They think it’s probably a good idea, but don’t know if it makes sense for them or not. Mortgages are confusing already. Refinancing adds to the confusion and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can cost you big time. Let’s look at when it makes sense to refinance your mortgage and when it’s a bad idea. 

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5 Smart Ways to Save Money When Buying a New Home

If you’re looking for a house right now, this very well could be one of the most difficult times to buy real estate. The amount of available homes is super low and prices have skyrocketed. I know where we live in Metro Detroit, it seems more difficult than ever to buy a home at a decent price. From what I’ve read and heard, it sounds like a similar story in other major metros in the US as well.

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$400,000 Home Paid Off in Less Than 4 Years

The beautiful fall day outside of my office windows made it tough to concentrate that day. Not only were the leaves on the trees changing, our family’s financial situation was about to change as well.

Eventually, I made my way out of the office for the day and into the crisp autumn air. I took a deep breath to appreciate the moment and said to myself, “THIS is going to be a life changing day for our family.”

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5 Reasons to Choose a 15-Year Mortgage

3 years ago, Nicole and I moved into our forever house.  It was love at first sight.

Compared to our previous 1,100 square foot bungalow, this new tri-level home had a bigger yard, an open floor plan and neighbors that became instant friends of ours.

When it came time to choosing the mortgage, we didn’t want our dream home to turn into a nightmare.

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