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How Much Can I Spend on A House?

by Sterling Realty Group LLC 03/11/2019

Home prices may vary greatly throughout the country. But, buying a home is most likely the largest purchase you will make in your life.

Deciding just how much to spend on your home isn’t just a matter of numbers--it also depends on your lifestyle and long-term goals.

In today’s post, I’m going to give you a few ways you can help determine how much is a safe amount to spend on your home so that you’ll feel confident moving into the home buying process that you’re making the best decision for you and your family.

Mortgage as a percent of your income

Like most large purchases, buying a home typically isn’t dependent on the amount you have in the bank. Rather, it depends on several factors including your income, credit score, and the type of lifestyle you want to maintain.

One of the simplest ways to determine how much house you can afford is to figure out what percent of your monthly income your mortgage and insurance will be.

For most homeowners, a mortgage payment that is 25% of their income or less is ideal. So, if you earn $6,000 per month, you don’t want your monthly mortgage payment to exceed $1,500.

This “25% rule” does have one flaw, however, and that does not--and cannot--account for each individual’s financial circumstances.

Let’s say, for example, that you earn $6,000 per month, but that you have a large monthly car payment and are trying to aggressively pay off your student loans. You might find that paying another $1,500 toward a mortgage on top of your current bills is bringing you over budget, especially when combined with your other monthly expenses and retirement contributions.

Plan for homeowner expenses

Another caveat to determining how much to spend on a home is that the home itself will require a budget for maintenance. When renting an apartment, repairs are mostly the responsibility of the landlord or property manager.

Homeownership, on the other hand, requires you to make the repairs yourself or hire a professional. And, if you neglect these repairs, you might find that they cost you even more in the long run or drive down the value of your home.

Create a comprehensive budget

Throughout a given person’s life, they’ll experience raises, promotions, layoffs, medical expenses, childcare costs, and any other number of financial changes. While it isn’t possible to foresee all of the financial fluctuations you’ll experience in life, it is always helpful to have a comprehensive budget.

What do I mean by “comprehensive budget”? The goal of a good budget is to know where each dollar of your income is currently going and to have a plan for each cent that you make. This is a proactive approach to budgeting that will give you an exact number for the amount you can afford when it comes to a mortgage payment.

Within your budget, it’s vital to account for things like an emergency fund, retirement, savings for vacations, and so on.

If you take this due diligence, not only will you have a better sense of where your money goes, but you’ll also be confident in knowing exactly how much you can spend on a home.

About the Author

Author
Sterling Realty Group LLC

Here's what I can tell you as a tenured licensed associate real estate broker in Michigan. 

- Dedication and continuous real estate education keeps me at the top of my profession. 

*FOR SELLERS- Many qualified buyers are looking to buy a home like yours right now! We have more buyers than properties available.
Why don't you reach out to me and let me guide you in researching putting your home on the market? 

*FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS - Let me help you get pre-approved. Banks are offering low rates. Many loan programs are available, some Zero down. Owning a home could be cheaper than rent! Why don't you reach out to me and let's talk through the different financing options available. 

*INTERESTED IN PURCHASING A LAKE FRONT HOME? Sterling Realty Group LLC serves the hundreds of lakes in Hillsdale, Lenawee, Jackson and Branch Counties. Specializing in the "Irish Hills" (US 12 from the northeast corner of Hillsdale County, taking in the northern portion of Lenawee County and most of southern Jackson County into Washtenaw County) The beautiful Irish Hills contains many lakes, state parks, and Michigan International Speedway. What kind of lake are you considering? ( all-sports=speed boats/jet skis or a fishing=no wake rule) What acreage, depth, base, or lake chain do you want? Want kind of fish can be reeled in? Approximate distance from my metropolitan area? 

Here's what sets me apart from other real estate agents.

From saylesmm; Belle is fantastic, very personable, knowledgeable and she communicates in a very timely manner! She made selling our home an easy experience. We highly recommend her and would definitely use her services in the future.

From qlockwood; Belle did a wonderful job of managing the whole selling process for us. We had two houses listed with her and we closed on both of them at one location back to back same day. I recommend her to friends and family.

From user90038804; While it was a long drawn out process thanks to our lender, Belle hung in there with us and kept the sellers from pulling out. This was our dream home and it’s ours all thanks to her!

From misseann2003; I worked with Belle Stier to purchase my home and really can’t say enough good things about her. She is knowledgeable, approachable, personable, endlessly patient, and incredibly generous with her time (including mornings, evenings, and weekends over the course of several months 

From user14997761; Belle helped me buy a foreclosure home. Was very helpful and responsive. I actually recommended her to my grandparents when they were trying to sell their home. If I'm ever looking again I will definitely give her a call.

From Angie; We appreciate everything & have been giving your name out as a realtor.