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Anatomy of One Couple's First Home Downpayment

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Throughout Rookie Roosts Week, we'll be hearing from first-time homebuyers with tales both awesome and terrible (the terrible ones will compete in our horror stories contest for a chance to win a $2,500 home store gift card - standard contests rules apply). Got a first-time homebuying story? Hit us up at the tipline. First up: a reader breaks down how he and his wife afforded a 20% downpayment.

My wife and I recently purchased our first home. Living in LA and coming up with the 20% downpayment was the biggest challenge...student loans, car loans, a wedding and general cost of living all have an impact. Rather than payoff the low interest rate student loans and car, here is how we did it (hopefully this will give other readers some ideas):

27.0%: Stock cash out...slowly built up a stock portfolio over 8 years and sold it all
8.5%: Savings from doubling up with a roommate (1 year) and then having a really small apartment (1 year)
8.0%: Wedding gifts
20.5%: Job Severance (and found another job quickly w/o dipping into savings)
14.0%: IRA Cash Out (you can do a one time cash out up to $10,000 per person of your IRA w/o penality although you still have to pay taxes)
4.0%: Savings in Money Market (built up over several months)
18.0%: Gift from Parents (you can give up to $13,000 per year to any person tax free)
· Rookie Roosts 2012 [Curbed LA]