Buying a home is an exciting milestone in many of our lives. It’s also one of the biggest investments we’ll ever make. As you begin the process of looking for a home to buy, knowing what your price range is can help you focus your search and give you a better idea of where you stand in the housing market. Here are four things to consider as you begin your house-hunting adventures:
Evaluate Your Budget
As a general rule, your mortgage payment should not exceed 28% of your monthly take-home pay. So, for every $1,000 of net income, add $280 to your max mortgage budget. Buyers who are debt-free have more wiggle room than buyers who have more bills to pay. Also consider if a bigger home will increase your electric bill, if a new pool will increase your water bill or house maintenance costs, and if a larger yard might require costly yard maintenance.
Consider Your Debt
Follow the 43% debt-to-income ratio rule—meaning that your monthly mortgage payment, car loans, credit card bills and utilities should not exceed 43% of your gross annual income.
Calculate Your Down Payment
The cash you have for a down payment will make a difference in your monthly house note—the more you put down, the lower your monthly payments will be. Use our Mortgage Payment Calculator to get a better idea how much you will need to save for your down payment.
Research Ways to Save
We’re committed to helping members make smart financial decisions—which is why we offer free access to HomeAdvantage®. Not only can you use this program to search for homes and find an agent online, if you work with one of the approved agents you can qualify for HomeAdvantage Cash Rewards* equal to 20% of the agent’s commission. And you can earn even more Cash Rewards if you both sell and buy your home through HomeAdvantage.
Want to Learn More?
If you have any questions or would like to get more information from a Salal Home Lending expert, feel free to contact us at 800.562.5515 ext. 1288, email HomeLending@SalalCU.org or set up a free, no-obligation Home-Buyer Planning Session.