Best Way to Invest to Save for a House

What is the Best Way to Invest to Save for a House?

Buying a home is a significant milestone that requires careful planning and saving. For many, the challenge lies in accumulating enough money for a down payment and related expenses. This blog post explores effective strategies to save for a house, focusing on how to invest and manage your finances to turn your home-buying dream into a reality.

1. Understanding Your Home-Buying Goals

Before diving into savings strategies, it’s crucial to define your home-buying goals. Are you a first-time homebuyer? Do you need a large space, or are you looking for something modest? Understanding these factors will help you determine the purchase price you should aim for and the size of the down payment you’ll need.

2. Saving for a Down Payment: Traditional and Innovative Methods

  • High-Yield Savings and Money Market Accounts: A traditional way to save for a house is through savings accounts, specifically high-yield savings or money market accounts. These offer higher rates compared to regular savings accounts, helping your money grow faster.
  • Invest in Real Estate or the Stock Market: For those willing to take on more risk, investing in real estate or stocks can offer higher returns. Real estate investments can be directly related to your goal of buying a house, while a diversified investment portfolio can grow your savings more significantly over time.
  • Retirement Accounts and IRAs: While typically used for retirement, certain accounts, like IRAs, can be used without penalty for a first-time home purchase. However, it’s important to consider the long-term impact on your retirement savings.

3. Managing Your Mortgage

  • Understanding Mortgage Types: Knowing the difference between an FHA loan and a conventional loan, for instance, is crucial. FHA loans are popular among first-time homebuyers for their lower down payment requirements, but they come with their own set of rules and costs, like private mortgage insurance (PMI).
  • Interest Rates and Monthly Payments: Keep an eye on interest rates, as they significantly affect your monthly mortgage payment and the total cost of your home loan. A lower interest rate can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.


Saving and investing wisely are keys to buying your dream home. Whether it’s through a high-yield savings account, investing in the stock market, or utilizing a retirement account, the right strategy depends on your personal financial situation and home-buying goals. For more insights on how to save money for a house and other financial tips, be sure to explore our other articles.


How much should I save for a down payment?

The traditional advice is to save 20 percent of the home’s purchase price, but this can vary based on the type of loan and lender requirements. Some lenders may require as little as 3–5 percent down for certain loan programs, such as FHA or VA loans. The amount you should save for a down payment also depends on your personal financial situation and the housing market in your area.

It’s important to consider not only the down payment but also other costs associated with buying a home, such as closing costs, moving expenses, and potential repairs or renovations. It’s always best to speak with a financial advisor or mortgage lender to determine the best down payment amount for your specific situation.

Is it better to invest or save for a house?

It depends on your risk tolerance and timeline. Savings accounts offer lower risk, while investing can potentially offer higher returns but with more risk. If you have a shorter timeline for purchasing a house (within the next few years), it may be better to save in a high-yield savings account or a CD to ensure the money is there when you need it. However, if you have a longer timeline and are comfortable with the potential risks, investing in the stock market or real estate could potentially grow your money faster.

Ultimately, it’s best to consult with a financial advisor to determine the best approach for your individual financial situation and goals.

What are some ways to make extra money for a house down payment?

Consider side hustles, freelance work, or other ways to earn additional income. Every extra dollar can be directed toward your down payment savings.

  1. Start a side hustle: Consider starting a small business or offering a service such as dog walking, gardening, tutoring, or handyman services to earn extra income.
  2. Freelance work: If you have skills in writing, graphic design, web development, or photography, consider freelancing to earn additional income.
  3. Rent out a room: If you have a spare room in your home, consider renting it out on a short-term basis through platforms like Airbnb to earn extra cash.
  4. Sell unwanted items: Declutter your home and sell unwanted items on platforms such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or at a garage sale.
  5. Take on a part-time job: Consider taking on a part-time job in the evenings or weekends to supplement your regular income.
  6. Participate in paid surveys or market research: There are many websites that pay for your opinions on various topics, whether you are participating in market research studies or testing products.
  7. Babysitting or pet sitting: Offer your services as a babysitter or pet sitter to earn extra money in your free time.
  8. Monetize a hobby: If you have a hobby such as crafting, baking, or photography, consider selling your creations or offering your services for a fee.
  9. Drive for a ride-sharing service: Consider driving for a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft to earn extra income in your spare time.
  10. Participate in the gig economy: Consider signing up for gig economy platforms like TaskRabbit, Postmates, or Instacart to complete tasks or make deliveries for extra cash.

By finding creative ways to earn extra income, you can accelerate your savings for a house down payment.

Should I pay private mortgage insurance or save up to 20%?

PMI allows you to buy a home with less than 20% down, but it adds to your monthly payment. Weigh the cost against the opportunity to buy a home sooner. Ultimately, the decision to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) or save up to 20% for a down payment depends on your personal financial situation and priorities. Here are a few factors to consider when making this decision:

  1. Monthly Budget: Consider how PMI will impact your monthly budget. PMI can add a significant amount to your monthly mortgage payment, so it’s important to assess whether you can comfortably afford this additional expense.
  2. Timeframe: If you want to buy a home sooner rather than later and are unable to save up 20% for a down payment within a reasonable timeframe, paying PMI may be a viable option for you.
  3. Total Cost: Calculate the total cost of PMI over the life of the loan compared to the savings achieved by waiting to accumulate a 20% down payment. This analysis can help you determine which option is more cost-effective in the long run.
  4. Interest Rates: Consider the current interest rate environment. If interest rates are low and you expect them to rise in the future, buying a home sooner with PMI may be more beneficial than waiting to save up 20% while paying higher rates.
  5. Alternative Investments: If you have the option to invest the money you would use for a 20% down payment and potentially earn a higher return than the cost of PMI, it may be advantageous to pay PMI and invest the remaining funds.

Ultimately, it is important to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of paying PMI versus saving up for a 20% down payment based on your individual financial circumstances and goals. Consulting with a financial advisor or mortgage professional can also provide valuable insight into making this decision.

Can I use money from a retirement account to buy a house?

Yes, first-time homebuyers can use funds from an IRA without penalty, but consider the impact on your retirement savings. It’s important to be aware of the potential tax implications and consequences of withdrawing funds for a home purchase. Additionally, using retirement funds for a home purchase may limit the growth potential of those funds for your future retirement. It’s advisable to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional to fully understand the implications before making any decisions.

What are the benefits of a high-yield savings account for home savings?

High-yield savings accounts offer higher interest rates than traditional savings, helping your down payment fund grow faster.

  1. Higher interest rates: High-yield savings accounts offer a higher rate compared to traditional savings accounts, allowing your savings to grow at a faster pace. This means you can reach your home savings goal sooner.
  2. Better returns: With a high-yield savings account, you can earn more in interest compared to keeping your money in a regular savings account. This can help you maximize your savings and make your home purchase more affordable.
  3. Safety: Reputable banks that are FDIC-insured frequently offer high-yield savings accounts, giving you a secure place to keep your home savings.
  4. Access to funds: While high-yield savings accounts may have withdrawal restrictions, they still offer relatively quick and easy access to your money when needed, making them a good option for short-term savings goals like buying a home.
  5. Low maintenance: High-yield savings accounts are easy to open and manage, often with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. This makes them a convenient and cost-effective option for growing your home savings.

Remember, when you plan to buy a house, every financial decision counts. Stay informed, explore different ways to invest and save, and you’ll be on your way to owning your dream home.



This material has been provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide investment, legal or tax advice. Check with your tax advisor to determine what tax credits and tax deductions may be available for your business. Finhabits does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. Investment advisory services offered through Finhabits Advisors LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. There are risks involved with investing. Insurance services offered through Finhabits Insurance Services LLC, a licensed producer in certain states. Finhabits Advisors LLC is not a fiduciary to insurance products or services.​
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