When it comes to finding a home, this is an exciting time. Many people love looking at houses; however, the reality is that people also need to think carefully about how much house they can actually afford. Buying a home is a big decision and for many people this is going to be the most expensive purchase they ever make in their lives. Therefore, it is important to take the time to get this decision right. There are plenty of ways for people to calculate how much house they can actually afford. With a budget in mind, this will make the shopping process easier.
The 28 Percent Rule
One of the top ways that people can figure out how much house they can afford is called the 28 percent rule. This is a simple formula that states that the house should only spend 28 percent of their gross income on expenses related to homeownership. This includes:
- The mortgage, including the principal and interest
- Real estate taxes
- Homeowner’s insurance
- Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), if this applies
- HOA dues
Keep in mind that this is the gross monthly income, meaning that this is before taxes.
The 36 Percent Rule
Another key rule that people need to keep in mind is called the 36 percent rule. This is a rule that states that that people should not spend any more than 36 percent of their gross monthly income on debts. This might include housing expenses (such as the ones above), loan payments (including car loans and student loans), child support, alimony, and credit card debt. Therefore, those who have more of these expenses are going to have less money to spend on a home.
Find The Right Budget For A Home
This is a short overview of how people can figure out how much house they can afford. Once people know how much they can spend each month on a home, they should be able to calculate backward to figure out how big of a loan they can actually take out. Of course, it is always important to remember that there are trained professionals who can help people figure out exactly how big of a house they can afford.