The housing market is doing well at the moment, but lenders still consider a 20-percent down payment as optimal for most would-be home buyers. That said, fewer and fewer Americans have instant access to potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in liquidity.

In fact, most homeowners have their net worth wrapped predominately in the home itself, which creates something of a quandary for those looking to buy their first home or invest in their dream home.

You might be wondering - How are first-time homeowners able to come up with enough money for a down payment while having money left over for renovations and mortgage payments? There are also property taxes to factor in. Bearing that in mind, there are a lot of ways to come up with more money for your dream home.

Create a Designated Savings Account

Create a savings account with the exclusive purpose of depositing monthly payments is a surefire way to save up enough for a big investment. Try making the same predictable monthly payment every month in order to fall into a virtuous circle of a routine.

You may even want to consider having a portion of your paycheck go towards this savings account every month so that you don't have to think about it as much or accidentally miss payments. Explore the possibility of having your bank transfer a specified amount of money from your checking account to this new savings account. You may be able to afford your dream home in less time than you think!

Government Programs for First-time Homeowners

The government has a number of programs to help would-be homeowners afford their first home, which is timely since the Realtors Confidence Index Survey Report shows that over 80 percent of first-time home buyers ultimately purchase their first home with less than 20 percent down.

The National Homebuyers fund is definitely the place to start in terms of government assistance for affording your dream home. The National Homebuyers Fund is a program that coordinates lending activity among thousands of lenders and multiple states. It can provide up to five percent of the loan amount as a non-repayable grant, which means you never have to pay anyone back!

The Department of Agriculture also offers USDA loans as long as you fulfill certain income requirements and you're open to living in a rural area. On the other side of things, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers loans in urban areas in need of revitalization to law enforcement, firefighters, and teachers. This program is called the HUD Good Neighbor Next Door.

Also, be aware that the federal government provides block grants to certain congressional districts as part of the federal government's home investment partnership programs.

Matched Savings Program

A matched savings program typically works by having a bank partner with a government agency or nonprofit organization in order to match the contributions that you make towards a down payment. The whole society thrives on responsibly home ownership!

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