Mortgage and Home Buying Blog

If you're a first-time homebuyer, a current homeowner, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, our weekly blog posts will be both informative and useful.

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Jun 12, 2023 11:23 AM

by: Security First Financial, A Division of Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.

We understand that the journey towards homeownership can be a daunting one, filled with numerous decisions, calculations, and considerations. But fear not, because we're here to guide you every step of the way.

Today, we're going to delve into one of the most critical aspects of home buying - setting a realistic budget. We'll help you understand how much home you can afford, empowering you to make informed decisions that will set you up for financial success. So, let's get started!


Understanding Your Financial Landscape

Before we dive into the numbers, it's crucial to take a step back and assess your overall financial situation. This includes your income, savings, debt, and monthly expenses. By understanding your financial landscape, you'll be better equipped to determine a budget that won't leave you stretched too thin.


The 28/36 Rule: A Good Starting Point

A common rule of thumb in the mortgage industry is the 28/36 rule. This guideline suggests that you should spend no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on housing expenses and no more than 36% on total debt, including your mortgage, car loans, credit card payments, and other debt.

While this rule provides a good starting point, remember that everyone's financial situation is unique. You may feel comfortable spending a bit more or prefer to spend less. The key is to find a balance that allows you to comfortably afford your monthly mortgage payments while still enjoying your lifestyle and saving for the future.


Don't Forget About Additional Homeownership Costs

When determining your budget, it's easy to focus solely on the price of the home. However, homeownership comes with additional costs that can significantly impact your budget. These include property taxes, homeowners insurance, HOA fees, and maintenance costs. Be sure to factor these into your budget to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line.


Pre-Approval: Your Home Buying Superpower

Once you have a clear idea of your budget, it's time to get pre-approved for a mortgage.* This process involves a lender, like us at Security First Financial, reviewing your financial situation to determine how much we'd be willing to lend you. Not only does pre-approval give you a clear idea of your budget, but it also makes you a more attractive buyer to sellers.


Final Thoughts

Determining your budget is a critical step in the home buying process. By understanding your financial situation and considering all the costs of homeownership, you can set a realistic budget that sets you up for success.

Remember, when it comes to buying a home, it's not just about how much you can borrow. It's about how much you can afford. If you have any questions or need further guidance, don't hesitate to reach out. At Security First Financial, we're not just about providing mortgages; we're about empowering you to make the best financial decisions for your future.

Here's to your journey towards homeownership. We're with you every step of the way!


*Pre-approvals are given to clients who have met qualifying approval criteria, for specific loan requirements, and have been pre-approved by a PRMI underwriter.
Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views of my employer.