How to Save for a Down Payment on a NYC Apartment


A down payment is the gateway to obtaining an apartment in NYC. The problem is, many people here don’t make enough to be able to put money aside. Read on to find out how you can aggressively save for a down payment.


Saving enough for a down payment for an apartment in New York City seems like a Sisyphean task to many folks. It seems like the more you save, the higher prices go, forcing you to save even more money for a down payment. With NYC home prices permanently locked into the top rungs of every “Most expensive real estate” list, it may seem like you’ll never be able to save for a home. You can, though. Even in NYC!

Know How Much to Put Down

How much you have to put down for an apartment depends on what type of property you’re buying. If you’re buying a co-op in NYC, you’ll be asked to put down anywhere between 20 and 25 percent in order to purchase your apartment, with some higher-end buildings requiring as much as 50 percent down. People purchasing condos usually have to pay a minimum of 10 percent down, but they may be able to put down even less if they purchase a home via a low down payment program.

Get Down Payment Assistance

down payment in scrabble letters

Image Source: Flickr/GotCredit

The federal government says that it’s on a mission to get more people into the housing market. To that end, it’s introducing new programs that will allow banks to offer home buyers mortgages that require as little as three percent down. Bank of America recently launched the Down Payment Resource Center, a portal full of resources that can help borrowers of all income levels find down payment resources and assistance.

Get a Second Job

If you have a full-time job, and your paycheck from that job is used to pay for expenses like housing, school, food, clothing, etc., it’s unlikely you’ll have anything left over for savings.

Many New Yorkers take on side jobs in order to have money to fund purchases or build savings. There are literally thousands of jobs that can be done remotely and/or at nights and on weekends. Freelance writing, tutoring, driving for Uber, bartending, waiting tables, graphic design, massage therapy — this list is just a tiny portion of the types of jobs that can be done after your “real” job is done for the day. Corporations like U-Haul offer in-bound customer service jobs to people who can work out of their homes.

An extra $500 take-home a month adds up to $6,000 at the end of the year. Clearing an extra $250 per week adds up to $1,000 per month, or $12,000 per year. If you’re really aggressive about saving, you can double that.

Cut Back

piggy pank saving for house

Image Source: Flickr/Tax Credits

If you can’t take on a second job, or if the amount you’re making is still not enough to achieve your savings goals, the next thing to do is to cut back on your monthly expenses.

Thanks to services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, HBO Go, and HBO Now, you can probably cut your cable bill at least in half. For many people, that’s a savings of well over $100 per month. Source phone plans to find the best deals on phone lines and data plans for every member of your household, and pay only for what you need.

Cut down on your food bills by buying in bulk when you go or ordering from your favorite grocery stores using delivery services like and You may think, “How is that saving? I’ll have to pay a delivery fee!” Delivery service fees pale in comparison to the amount of money it takes to eat out regularly.

Main Image Source: Flickr/Hard Seat Sleeper


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