Saving up for a home can feel like a seemingly endless journey for any prospective buyer — especially young workers. In our 2016 U.S. Housing Affordability Study, the MagnifyMoney team analyzed 380 metros in the U.S. and found nowhere in the U.S. where a worker who began saving today could reasonably save for a home in under one year.
On average, it would take workers aged 25 to 44 roughly five and half years to save for a home if they began saving now. Workers under age 25 would need more than five times as long (27.2 years). The journey would be shortest for middle-aged homebuyers aged 45 to 65, who we found would need just an average of 4.69 years to save enough for a new home.
In our study, we wanted to give a realistic picture of homeownership. We based our calculations on a worker whose goal was to save 20% of their income annually toward a goal of homeownership. We determined they would need to save enough to put down a 20% downpayment, plus 4.5% for closing costs. We also factored in a one-month emergency fund equal to one month’s mortgage payment.
But we also know it’s unreasonable to expect everyone to be able to set aside that much of their earnings in savings, especially early in their careers. So we created a calculator anyone can use to find out how long it would take them to save up for a new home.
Check it out below and read on to learn more about how it works.
Calculating Your Chances of Homeownership
Our unique Home Affordability Calculator asks for your gross monthly income (that is, how much you earn each month before taxes are taken out) and location first. From there, we give you a quick estimate of how long it would take you to save for a home if you were to start saving now.
You can customize all of the fields of the calculator from there to tailor your estimate more closely to your circumstances. Can’t afford to save 20% of your income? Adjust your savings rate to whatever rate you think you can manage, and the calculator will update your estimate.
For some, this estimate may look more like a life sentence rather than a reasonable timeline toward saving for a home. Here, we can admit this calculator isn’t perfect. Your earnings today may look much different than a few years from now, or even a few months from now. As you work your way up in your career and are able to set aside more funds toward a new home, you will certainly shave time off your savings goal. Furthermore, you may already have some savings in the bank, which we this calculator does not take into consideration.
Read more about our findings in our 2016 Housing Affordability Study.
Here are the most affordable metros for each age group:
45 to 65 year olds:
25 to 44-year-olds
15 to 25-year-olds
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