This is often the first question our mortgage bankers get when meeting with new customers. By knowing what you can afford, you’ll have a better idea of the neighborhood, house size and style that’s right for you. In fact, looking above your price range early on can make the houses within your budget look significantly less exciting.
The best way to avoid falling in love with a dream house that’s out of reach is to know your budget right away. Meet with a mortgage banker early on so they can review your financials and provide an accurate price range. Financially savvy homebuyers know this is a great first step.
What determines your budget?
In the first meeting, your mortgage banker will do two big things: ask you a million questions and crunch the numbers. But what goes into determining what you can afford? Actually, quite a bit.
- Debt-to-income ratio
- Annual income
- Monthly expenses
- Type of loan (fixed vs. adjusted rate, number of years)
- How much you have for the down payment
- Loan interest rate
- Other expenses
- (To get this information to your banker, you’ll need to bring a couple key documents that you can find in our client checklist.)
A few hundred calculator clicks later, and you’ll have a price range to keep in mind. Your banker will also then talk about what you’ll need for a down payment and what to expect for monthly mortgage payments
Then, it’s time to start scoping neighborhoods. Talk to your real estate agent about your price range and preferred house size. The professional helping you find your house should be able to recommend neighborhoods or areas that best fit your taste and budget.
There you have it. That’s what goes into determining your home-buying budget. To find out exactly what you can afford, meet with one of our mortgage bankers