This is a common question asked by people who are thinking about buying a home. Generally, lenders will use the 36% as a general guideline when determining how much home you can afford as a borrower. To figure out how much you can afford, take your monthly income and multiply it by 36%, this will give you an idea of the mortgage you can afford.
For example, if you earn $50,000.00 a year, that is about $4,166.00 a month. With that average household income, you can afford $1,500.00 in total monthly payments, according to the 36% rule.
Key factors in calculating affordability are 1) your monthly income and stable employment for the last two years; 2) available funds to cover your down payment and closing costs; 3) your monthly expenses; 4) your credit profile.
- Income – Money that you receive on a regular basis, such as your salary or income from investments. Your income helps establish a baseline for what you can afford to pay every month. Most lenders will use a two-year average if your income fluctuates month to month.
- Funds available – This is the amount of cash you have available to put down and to cover closing costs. You can use your savings, investments or other sources.
- Debt and expenses – It’s important to take into consideration other monthly obligations you may have, such as credit cards, car payments, student loans, groceries, utilities, insurance, etc.
- Credit profile – Your credit score and the amount of debt you owe influence a lender’s view of you as a borrower. Those factors will help determine how much money you can borrow and what interest rate you’ll be charged.
Further considerations when buying a home should also include how much of a down payment you will need to secure your loan! Also, it is a good idea to have at least three months total monthly expenses in reserve to cover you in the event of an emergency. For more questions about buying your first home, please call me with any questions!