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Poder Pagar para su Nuevo Hogar: Parte 1

Affording Your New Home: Part 1

by Allison Kane

Congratulations, you've decided to buy a house!  However can you afford it? Becoming a homeowner is fun and rewarding, but it can also be stressful. The more prepared and educated you are about the home buying process, the less stress you will encounter.

After you've determined your personal readiness to buy a house, such as narrowing down a location and maintaining a house, the next thing you need to do is crunch some numbers to find out how much house you can afford.

Estimate your monthly payment

To estimate an affordable monthly payment, the majority of lenders use the 28/36 guideline. First, your monthly house payment (including mortgage principal and interest, property taxes, and home insurance) should amount to no more than 28% of your monthly gross income (what you earn before income taxes, Social Security, and other deductions come out of your paycheck).

Consider total monthly debt

Second, total monthly debt obligations (mortgage, car payments, credit cards, and college loans) should not exceed 36% of your monthly gross income. However these guidelines may vary.

Determine down payment and closing costs

In calculating your cost to own a house, keep in mind that your down payment--most mortgage lenders typically require a down payment equal to at least 5% of a home's purchase price--and monthly payments are only part of the cost of buying. If you buy a house with less than a 20% down payment, your lender will require you to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI), which will increase your monthly payment.

You'll need additional money to cover closing costs: lender fees, property appraisal, escrow payments, and more. And once you're an owner, you'll face ongoing expenses for routine maintenance that protects your investment.  For more information on how to afford your new home visit a credit union near you.

Published 7-25-2011



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