Part of the American dream is to buy a house you can call your own. But with your current salary, are you able to save enough money to buy a home in cash? For most people, a dream home purchase is realized only after applying for a home loan. While this proves to be a more affordable option to finally buy your own home, you’ll most likely need to put down a hefty down payment. Unless you’re qualified for a zero down payment mortgage, you’re expected to pay the upfront fees.

Before, lenders would only approve your home loan application if you could afford the 20% down payment. Thankfully, nowadays, they are much more forgiving. You can now pay less than the 20% down payment mark, but you’ll need to pay for the private mortgage insurance. The great news is that as long as you find yourself a good mortgage company in San Antonio and pass the minimum requirements, your chances of buying your own home are close to reality. Now the question remains: How can you save enough cash to cover for the down payment? Here are five unusual ways that can help:

Check if you’re eligible for a down payment assistance program

Homebuyers like you should make it a point to see if you’re qualified for a down payment assistance program. This allows you to buy a house without exhausting all of your assets. This is especially helpful if you have no assets to use at all. Take note that you need to qualify first before you can take advantage of such a program.

Live below your means

If you’re anticipating a home purchase in the near future, living below your means is the best way to save up some cash. By downsizing your lifestyle, you can have more money to set aside for your new home’s down payment. Others choose to automate their savings by allotting a percentage of their monthly income straight to a savings account. If you’re renting, you can choose to move into a smaller unit. If you have a spare room, you can choose to rent it out.

man handing over a house model

Sell your old stuff

If you’re ready to buy your own home, you’ll most likely need to get rid of your old and unnecessary stuff. This will give you more room for new items and obtain some cash in the process. What you might think maybe a rustic and useless piece of junk might be an interesting piece to others. So why not use this opportunity to sell some of your belongings?

File your taxes

If you’re interested in having a nice chunk of cash, then don’t forget to file your taxes. According to news, today’s tax refund in the U.S. is $3,068. You can use this as an additional source of cash for your pending home-buying plans.

Get yourself a part-time job

If you still have a few hours to spare, you can use this opportunity to work part-time. If you’re not keen on staying outdoors, you can always find an online job to supplement your income.

Use gift funds

Some allow down payments to be gifts, so don’t miss the chance to accept money from family or friends. Take note that you’ll need to provide a gift letter stating that the cash they have given you is a gift, not a loan.

Saving enough money for a down payment may not be easy, but it will be worth it. The fact that you can now buy a house without having to pay the amount in full is a blessing. You just need to qualify for a mortgage, and you can finally buy your dream home.