Q & A: What You Can Afford

Click a question to jump right to the answer:

  1. How much will I spend on maintenance expenses?
  2. What can I afford?
  3. What is the standard debt-to-income ratio?
  4. Where can I find housing market statistics for my area?

How much will I spend on maintenance expenses?

Maintenance expenses will vary for each home. Generally, the older the home, the higher the maintenance costs over time. When purchasing a home, pay attention to the age of high-ticket items such as the roof, heating & air, electrical, windows, paint, and appliances. After purchasing the home, perform routine upkeep on these items to lengthen their life cycle.   

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What can I afford?

Before starting your home search, you should review your finances and determine how much money you have available for a down payment and closing fees, as well as review your monthly budget to determine how much you can spend monthly on mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance fees. Meet with a lender to see what type of loan amount you would be pre-approved for, and confirm with a financial advisor if necessary to ensure you are staying within your financial limitations.

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What is the standard debt-to-income ratio?

The standard debt-to-income ratio is used by lenders to calculate the monthly payment amount a borrower can afford. The ratio limits the borrower to spend 28% of their gross income on mortgage payments, and no more than 36% of their gross income should be spent on mortgage and debt payments (including car, school, and credit card payments).

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Where can I find housing market statistics for my area?

Your real estate agent is the best source for local housing market statistics and information. Not only do they have access to market data through their real estate board and brokerage, they also have the experience and area knowledge to interpret and apply the statistics to your specific real estate needs.

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