Saving for a down payment is often the biggest stumbling block to being able to buy a house. And saving for a down payment for a house in an urban area where, according to the US Census Bureau, 80% of Americans live, can be even more daunting due to the reality that urban areas are simply more expensive than suburban or rural areas.

Just as we break down our workload into bite-sized pieces in order to achieve what we need to achieve, breaking down the sum of a down payment into bite-sized, daily savings amounts can make the required total down payment achievable.

Realtor.com did just that…it took the median home listing price for the biggest metro areas (including the main city and surrounding towns), determined the median down payment amount currently hovering around 13% according to the National Association of Realtors, and calculated the daily savings goal required to make that down payment over both 5 and 10 year periods.

According to Miron Lulic, founder and CEO of Supermoney, “Even small changes in your monthly budgets can help…try to save at least 20% of your after-tax income (every month) but any amount is better than nothing…even if it’s $20/pay period.”

Here are realtor.com’s findings for daily savings requirements:

  1. New York
    1. Median home price – $564,500
    2. Average down payment percentage – 16.4% or $45,717 on median priced home
    3. Daily savings goal – $25.04 over 5 years; $12,52 over 10 years
    4. Remember that New York’s metro area extends into all five boroughs, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania where prices are less unnerving than Manhattan’s prices.
  2. Los Angeles
    1. Median home price – $769,524
    2. Average down payment percentage – 18.1% or $81,078 on median priced home
    3. Daily savings goal – $44.40 over 5 years; $22.20 over 10 years
    4. Remember that prices are leveling off and wages are 17% higher than the national average.
  3. Chicago
    1. Median home price – $312,098
    2. Average down payment percentage – 12.7% or $19,580 on median priced home
    3. Daily savings goal – $10.72 over 5 years; $5.36 over 10 years
    4. Sale prices increased +9.8% in the Windy City in 2018 so time is of the essence.
  4. Dallas
    1. Median home price – $350,000
    2. Average down payment percentage – 12.7% or $19,452 on median priced home
    3. Daily savings goal – $10.65 over 5 years; $5.33 over 10 years
    4. Remember that this metro added some 30,000 jobs in 2018 and the population has grown +11.8% since 2010.
  5. Houston
    1. Median home price – $324,925
    2. Average down payment percentage – 11.7% or $14,420 on median priced home
    3. Daily savings goal – $7.90 over 5 years; $3.95 over 10 years
    4. Remember that the economy is booming here and that in the East Downtown neighborhood called EaDo, older cottages are available at $120,000 and new single-family homes are available under $400,000.
  6. Philadelphia
    1. Median home price – $288,950
    2. Average down payment percentage – 12.8% or $20,798 on median priced home
    3. Daily savings goal – $11.30 over 5 years; $5.69 over 10 years
    4. Remember that that the city’s unemployment rate is the lowest rate since 2000, according to the Pew Research Center. Brick row houses are available for approximately $300,000 in Fishtown, one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods.
  7. Washington DC
    1. Median home price – $462,450
    2. Average down payment percentage – 11.5% of $25,700
    3. Daily savings goal – $14.07 over 5 years; $7.04 over 10 years.
    4. Remember that prices are expected to rise +20-25% in few years, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
  8. Miami
    1. Median home price – $399,000
    2. Average down payment percentage – 13.3% or $19,831 on median priced home
    3. Daily savings goal – $10.86 over 5 years; $5.43 over 10 years
    4. Remember that the Little Haiti neighborhood sits at higher elevation and fixer-uppers are available in $200,000 range.
  9. Atlanta
    1. Median home price – $335,436
    2. Average down payment percentage – 9.5% or $10,450
    3. Daily savings goal – $5.72 over 5 years; $2.86 over 10 years
    4. Remember that this city has the highest share of listings under $200,000.
  10. Boston
    1. Median home price – $594,450
    2. Average down payment percentage – 16.9% or $61,336
    3. Daily savings goal – $33.61 over 5 years; $16.80 over 10 years
    4. Remember that Boston’s home prices are escalating.
  11. San Francisco – still the most expensive real estate on the market
    1. Median home price – $954,000
    2. Average down payment percentage – 21.7% or $171,836
    3. Daily savings goal – $94.11 over 5 years; $47.05 over 10 years
    4. Forget it? Prices are at record highs…up +5% from 2018.