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According to the Realtors® Confidence Index, 35 percent of recent mortgages were made with a down payment of 20 percent or more. Moreover, Realtors® reported that because of tight underwriting standards, buyers who pay cash or put down large down payments generally win against those with lower down payments.

With lending restrictions making it difficult for some buyers to enter the market it’s more important than ever to have your finances in order and enough money saved for a down payment. For first-time buyers the most common sources of a down payment are savings and gifts from a relative or friend. However, many factors like rising rents and debt make it difficult for consumers to save up for that down payment.

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Ask recent buyers about their down payment sources. Gather advice from financial planners, mortgage lenders and Realtors® on the best way to save money for a home.