The Betros Team | Jacksonville Real Estate, St. Johns Real Estate, Ponte Vedra Real Estate

Saving for a down payment on a home is a long process that requires discipline and organization. But we all know that with so many other things going on in our lives it can be hard to spend enough time focusing on your budget.

Fortunately, there are several tools available to soon-to-be homeowners who want to keep track of their spending and make sure they meet their down payment goals. In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the best budgeting apps, websites, and other tools to help you keep yourself accountable so you can be living in your new home as soon as possible.

Why budget for a down payment?

If you’ve saved money in the past for a purchase without a budget you might be wondering why you should go through the effort of creating one now.

However, there are many reasons to have a budget, especially if you’re planning on making an investment as large as a home. Here are just a few:

  • Keeping an accurate budget will let you know almost exactly how much you can expect to save for a down payment

  • Budgeting helps you locate and cut out expenses that would be better used in your savings account

  • Budgeting will give you peace of mind along the road to saving for your down payment

Now that we’ve talked about the importance of making a budget, let’s talk about some of the best ways to get it done.


You Need a Budget, often shortened to YNAB, is one of the most useful tools for learning about and creating a budget. I don’t know about you, but I was never formally taught how to budget in school. But, it would have been a useful class to have!

YNAB combines budgeting tools with educational materials to help you save while you learn more about managing money. It can be easy to feel lost when it comes to learning about personal finance--that’s what makes YNAB so great.

Their basic precept is that you “give every dollar a job,” meaning there won’t be any money in any of your accounts or in your paycheck that doesn’t have a purpose. That doesn’t mean you can’t spend money on yourself every once in awhile, just that you’ll have planned ahead for moments so you can manage them.

You Need A Budget is available for Apple, Android, on Alexa and in your browser.

Saving with your spouse

Planning a budget yourself is complicated as it is. But planning together with a spouse can be even more confusing. However, there are ways to effectively make a family budget to save for a down payment.

First, you should both make sure you have individual budgets to make sure you know how much money from each of your incomes can go into savings. Opening a joint savings account and having a certain percentage of your paycheck direct deposited into that account is a good place to start.

From there, monitor your savings for a month to see if you need to alter this number, and try to stick to your monthly savings goal.

7931 Dawsons Creek Dr, JACKSONVILLE, FL 32222  

Full/Half Baths
Gorgeous move in ready home awaits a large or growing family. Kitchen boasts 42'' cabinets, breakfast bar, corian counters, large pantry and breakfast nook. Spacious downstairs master suite with tray ceiling, bay window, new carpet, and master bathroom, with raised vanity/ double sinks, separate garden tub and over-sized shower. The large family room features a wood burning fireplace and a wall of windows overlooking a 27' x 28'screened lanai with pavers and new fountain. Open floor plan flows well- great for entertaining. Study/formal living room with French doors, 10 ft ceilings downstairs, wide plank wood floors, and computer area with abundant storage. Upstairs bonus room/ loft is flanked by five spacious bedrooms. Located on over 1/2 acre in a private community. Open House July 22 2-4

11219 Yacht Ln, JACKSONVILLE, FL 32225  

New construction, 3-car garage home, located in a gated community. The home will be ready for your family to call home August, 2018. The home has a spacious, open floor plan that will make entertaining, or simply spending time with your family, easy and enjoyable. This home has 5 bedrooms and 4 full bathrooms. The master is downstairs, along with an additional bedroom that can be used as an office or 5th bedroom. Upstairs you will find 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, as well as a recreation room that can be used as a craft room, movie room, or a playroom. The home also includes a 3-car garage for all your storage needs. This stunning home overlooks a canal and is within close proximity to the community clubhouse, pool, dock and boat ramp.

If you are thinking of refinancing your mortgage, there are so many options available to you that address your needs. Whether you want to do some home improvement projects or provide a down payment for another property refinancing can be a good option for you. There are many different options when it comes to home loans and refinancing. Below, you’ll find some of the most popular choices and what they mean for your mortgage and your finances. 

Standard Refinance

A standard refinances requires that you have a certain amount of equity in your home. If you want to avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI on the refinance, you need 20% equity in the home. Different lenders have different requirements for the amount of equity that you need in order to do this primary refinancing of your home loan. Keep in mind that a good credit score is also a requirement to do this type of loan.

Refinancing With Cash Out

This option is great when you need to take some of the equity out of your home. This way, you can get some of the equity out of your home without selling the house. This way, you’re able to refinance the mortgage, get a good loan term that’s affordable, and borrow a part of the equity you have built up in your home.

You can use the cash that you take out for just about anything you need including college, home renovations, business start-up costs, or to consolidate other debt you have. The only drawback is that you’re not able to borrow 100% of your equity. Usually, the highest percentage you’re eligible to borrow is 80%. The amount is based on both the equity you have built up in your home along with your income. Also, keep in mind that after you take out one of these loans, the amount of equity you have in your home decreases.  

Short Refinance

Short refinances may not be offered by all lenders. If you don’t qualify for a HARP loan or standard, refinance this could be a good option for you. If you hope to avoid foreclosure and are struggling to pay your mortgage each month, your lender may agree to the terms of this type of loan. The loan is in effect is a combination of a short sale and a refinance. The lender agrees to pay the existing mortgage off. The loan s replaced with a new mortgage. Beware that if you choose this option, your credit score may go down significantly. If you’re able to keep up with the new mortgage payments, you’ll be able to repair your credit score over time.         

413 Kentucky Branch Ln, JACKSONVILLE, FL 32259  

Full/Half Baths
Spectacular Custom Home in Distinguished Bartram Trail Subdivision in ''A Rated'' St Johns County School District. This 4 Bed, 3 1/2 Bath Beauty sits on a large (.75 acre) private lot with century old Oaks that overlook lake in the back. The front door opens to -20 ft ceilings and you realize that each part of this home was well thought out. Hardwood and Tile are the perfect blend as you walk through the Formal Living and Dining areas to the Spacious Family Room and Fireplace. The Gourmet Kitchen is Loaded with Solid Counter Tops,Island, Crowned Wood Cabinets, SS Appliances and Breakfast Area. Master on the 1st Floor is Over-sized with a Bay Window Sitting Area and has the bathroom that you would expect (2 walk-in closets),large bath, separate shower. Huge Patio with fire pit. See Photos