One of the great challenges for many first time homebuyers is having enough money for a down payment. With a bit of creativity and planning, it can be fun to save money to use as a down payment on a home.  At the height of the Phoenix housing boom, it was possible for homebuyers to find mortgages that require no down payment. While there are some mortgage programs that do not require a down payment, such as VA loans, most homebuyers need to plan to put down a minimum of 3.5 percent of the purchase price of the home. Additionally, most homebuyers need to pay closing costs, which are about 3 percent of the purchase price. Even though the amount of money you need to have on hand to buy might seem overwhelming, you can save money to buy a home and have some fun doing it.

Creative Strategies to Save Money for a Down Payment
Many people approach saving money with a sense of dread instead of looking for creative ways  to put funds away for a down payment on a house. Here are some suggestions about how to save  money and have some fun doing it.
Keep a Change Jar
While throwing you spare change in a jar at the end of the day might not seem to be an effective way to save money, but the many does add up. Additionally, when you see the jar every day, you can tell you are making progress towards your goal. Another option is to round up the purchase amounts in your checking account to the next dollar and then transfer the money to a saving account.
Put Aside the Money You Receive as Gift or Bonuses
The next time you receive cash in a birthday card, put it in your down payment savings account. If you receive bonuses
at work, consider putting them in a short-term CD so you can earn a bit of interest on your savings.
Make Your Hobbies Pay for You
If you enjoy making jewelry or doing woodwork, consider selling your crafts at a local consignment gallery or online at sites like Etsy or E-Bay. Consider offering classes to teens if you are a musician or tutor students if you are gifted academically. While technically as second job, when you work for yourself, you can set your own hours so it is more flexible than working for someone else. Remember to keep a record of your income for tax purposes.
Don’t Move It, Sell It
Since you are planning to move anyway, take time to go through your things and put aside items you no longer use or want. If they are in good condition, consider selling them at a yard sale. Another option for people who do not have time for yard sales is to s offer them for sale at online site like E-Bay or Amazon.
While it takes time and discipline to save money for a down payment to buy a home, with some creativity, you can have some fun while you are saving.

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