A Latte A Day Keeps Homeownership Away

What are those Pumpkin Spice Lattes costing you?

The Pumpkin Spice Latte released earlier this week and you may be tempted to spend your extra cash on a daily caffeine fix, but that small expense can add up to a big number – fast!

Saving for a down payment takes a little discipline, so limiting your extra purchases (like a latte a day from your favorite coffee shop) will help you get there faster.

The 20% Down Payment Myth

Depending on where you live, putting away just a small amount each day will get you to the down payment you may need for homeownership faster than you think. Traditionally speaking, the rule of thumb has been to put 20% down, but in many cases, it’s not necessary. In some instances, buyers may qualify for a 5%, 3.5%, or even a 0% minimum down payment. According to this NAR survey in 2018, first-time homebuyers typically pay about 7% of the sales price.

In the example below, we calculated how much a potential buyer would need to save each day for the next 5 years to make a 5% down payment on a median-priced home in several U.S. cities and how many Grande Pumpkin Spice Lattes (at $4.95/each, plus tax) that equates to.


A Latte a Day Keeps Homeownership Away


Ask a Lender

To find out exactly how much you’d need to save, you’d need to contact a lender and discuss your specific goals and financial circumstances. We know several who would be happy to help!

About the Author

My wife and I live in Donelson, where we both were raised and graduated from high school (DCA Classes of 1983 and 1984).  Our current home is on the Cumberland River, very close to my childhood home and the former homes of both my McDonald and Rice grandparents.

Our daughter and son are grown now, and our daughter, Stephanie Miller, is my real estate partner.  She lives in Lebanon with her husband and their two children.  While Stephanie and I specialize in the areas of Downtown Nashville, Donelson, Hermitage, Old Hickory, Mt. Juliet and Lebanon, we have and do serve clients all over Middle Tennessee.

As a Nashville native, I’ve spent a lifetime watching our city evolve, and I am enthusiastic about showcasing it to others and serving their real estate needs.


1997 — 2000   Fleetwood HOA Board Officer

2013 — 2016   Rhythm at Music Row HOA Board Officer

2017   Greater Nashville Realtors: Housing Opportunities & Affordability Committee

2017 — 2018   St. Martin Square HOA Board Officer

2017 — 2019   Brentwood Photography Group Board

2018 — 2019   Senior Ride Nashville


National Association of REALTORS®

Tennessee Association of REALTORS®

Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS®