How much house can I afford?
It’s normal to want to use caution prior to making a large purchase or a long term commitment, especially if you're a first-time homebuyer. Buying a house is usually both. A home purchase can be a lifelong commitment and a common inheritance for future generations.
It's no wonder that potential homebuyers want to know what they are getting into before making any final decisions. The good news is that our experts are here to help you through the process. Our team can clear up any doubts or concerns that you may have.
If you want to know how much house you can afford, our team is here to help. Learn more about housing affordability below, or check out our mortgage calculator to start crunching numbers and get a few tips on saving on a home loan.
How can I calculate how much house I can afford?
Try a mortgage calculator
To calculate how much house you can afford you will need to know your financial status. You'll need to know your income, credit, and debts. The amount of house you can afford depends on a number of factors. The following aspects of your personal finances are commonly used by lenders to determine how much they can lend:
- Monthly income
- Gross annual income
- Monthly debt
- Credit history
- Credit score
- Current mortgage
Luckily, you do not have to calculate this yourself, we have a mortgage calculator that you can use to calculate how much house you are able to afford. To use the calculator, you will have to input the cost of the house, the loan term you're interested in, and how much of a down payment you can afford. If have an idea of what your mortgage rate could be, then it will give you a more accurate monthly mortgage payment with a breakdown of the monthly principal and rate. Not sure you have enough to afford a home? You can also look into ways to lower your mortgage payment.
The 28/36 rule
The 28/36 rule is a good initial way of know whether you are currently in a position to afford the purchase of the home. The rule states the following:
- The 28 rule: This states that your housing expense should not exceed more than 28% of your gross income. Your housing expenses are your monthly mortgage payments, any homeowners association fees, property taxes, and private insurance.
- The 36 rule: This states that your debts should not exceed 36% of your income. These debts are your long term monthly expenses like student loans, personal/credit card loans, and auto loans.
You will need to add up all of your expenses and income and then divide it to get concrete numbers. So let’s say that your total income is $6,000 a month, this means that your housing expenses should not exceed $1,680 a month.
How much home can I afford with my salary?
After using the mortgage calculator and/or doing your own calculations using the 28/36 rule, maybe you feel that your salary could be keeping you from being a home buyer. The good news is that your salary is not the only thing that matters when you are trying to buy a house. You can increase your buying power by decreasing your debts or increasing your income. Which can help get you to the preferred ratios that lenders like to work with.
Also there are loans available that work with lower income levels which may be a good option for you. These mortgages are typically federal loans, but there may be other options available if you're a first-time homebuyer. Some home loan options may come with special requirements and conditions. Your loan officer can help you navigate through the ins and outs.
Does Debt-to-Income ratio impact affordability?
Your Debt-to-Income ratio (DTI) is a percentage of all of your debts divided by your gross monthly income. Your DTI can impact your affordability because it is a ratio that can be adjusted depending on how much you owe. Here are ways that you can make purchasing a house more affordable through changing your DTI ratio:
- Pay down on your monthly debts to decrease your overall expenses
- Restructure your loans to lower interest rates and pay off debts
- Increase your income (side gig and promotion at work)
There are many ways to lower your DTI ratio through taking a look at your finances and seeing how you can change it to help you buy a home.
How can I start my journey to a new home?
You can determine how much you’re able to afford using a mortgage calculator, but the best way to start is to contact our team. Our experts can help you on your journey to home ownership. Get in touch with our team today and start moving forward on the path to your new home.