How Fast Can You Save For A Down Payment

Dated: 04/24/2017

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How Fast Can You Save For A Down Payment?

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer. Depending on where you live, median income, median rents, and home prices all vary. So, we set out to find out how long would it take you to save for a down payment in each state?  

Using data from the United States Census Bureau and Zillow, we determined how long it would take, nationwide, for a first-time buyer to save enough money for a down payment on their dream home. There is a long-standing ‘rule’ that a household should not pay more than 28% of their income on their monthly housing expense. 

By determining the percentage of income spent renting a 2-bedroom apartment in each state, and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, we were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save enough money to buy a home of their own. 

According to the data, residents in Iowa can save for a down payment the quickest in just under 2 years (1.99). Here is the information for the 3 major areas in our region:


DC: 15.64 years

MD: 4.53 years

VA: 5.03 years


What if you only needed to save 3%? 

What if you were able to take advantage of one of Freddie Mac’s or Fannie Mae’s 3% down programs? Suddenly, saving for a down payment no longer takes 5 or 10 years, but becomes attainable in a year or two in many states as shown below. 


DC: 4.69 years

MD: 1.36 Years

VA:  1.51 Years


Bottom Line: 

Whether you have just started to save for a down payment, or have been saving for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Let's meet up so I can help you evaluate your ability to buy today!

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Michelle O. Smith

Michelle Smith has lived and worked in both the Fredericksburg and northern Virginia areas for years, and her family has resided in the Fredericksburg area for generations. Before becoming a real esta....

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