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Find Out How Much House You Can Afford

by Terry Naber 11/24/2019

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’re upgrading to a larger house to fit your family’s needs, it’s vital to understand just how much house you can afford before you start shopping for homes.

When planning for your future home, there are two main things you need to figure out.

  • What is a smart amount to spend on a home for your budget

  • What are the key features in a home that will give you the most benefits for the cost

These two questions may seem simple, but there are quite a few factors that should go into determining each one.

So, in today’s post, I’m going to walk you through the process of determining what kind of house you can afford so you can make the best home buying decision for you and your family.

A smart home buying budget

To create an effective budget, you’ll need to gather some information and possibly create a spreadsheet with Excel (or a free alternative like Google Sheets).

On your spreadsheet, you’ll first want to add up all sources of income that your family has. This is the easy part for most people who only have one or two sources of income based on a salaried job.

Next, is the hard part--expenses. We can’t just use your current expenses to determine the new budget because we have to account for changes in several areas.

If you aren’t sure of the cost of living for the area you hope to move to, try plugging it into this cost of living comparison tool to see get a better idea of the cost of things like transportation, childcare, groceries, and more.

Likewise, it’s also a good idea to assume you’ll be paying more in utilities if you’re hoping to move into a home that is larger than your current home. Keep in mind, however, that different houses have different levels of energy-efficiency, so it’s a good idea to also ask the seller of the homes you’re interested in to determine what your costs might be.

Now, subtract your expenses from your income. The amount remaining should easily cover whatever mortgage payment you receive along with, ideally, 20% of your income going toward savings.

Deciding what you need in a home

The second part of determining how much house you can afford is to find out exactly what you’re looking for in a home. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, location, the size of the backyard; all of these are questions that have a monetary value.

So, to really answer this question you’ll need a strong understanding of what you and your family’s goals are for at least the next 5-7 years, if not longer.

Once you have your long-term goals and a good understanding of your budget, you can start safely shopping for homes with a clearer idea of the type of home you’re looking for and just how much home you can afford.

About the Author
Author

Terry Naber

Your "Good Neighbor" In Colorado Springs Real Estate Since 1990

Broker Associate (28+ years experience)

Certifications:

  • CRS
  • CDPE
  • LHP
  • MRS
  • CFE
  • MRE
  • CNE
  • IRES
  • SRES

Specializing in

Specialties:

  •  Buyer's Agent
  •  Listing Agent
  •  Relocation
  •  Foreclosure
  •  Senior Real Estate Specialist

Terry is long time resident of Colorado Springs and has been an award-winning licensed Realtor since 1990 when Colorado Springs was "Repo Capital" of the United States.  Getting into the business when most agents were getting out of the business was a challenge, but one that she eagerly embraced because she came in with a different business philosophy of putting her clients interest above all else, serving them with integrity and care, She soon had all the business she could handle from appreciative buyers and sellers.  Terry's commitment to being at the top of the profession for her clients has resulted in awards for every year of her 28 years in real estate and several prestigious designations:

  •  RE/MAX Properties 2015 Client Service Award
  •  RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award for sales surpassing $100 million
  •  RE/MAX International Hall of Fame Award
  •  The CRS (Certified Residential Specialist designation held by only about 7% of all agents); CDPE-Certified Distressed Property Expert; CNE-Certified Negotiation Expert; RFC-Residential Finance Certification; IRES-International Residential Specialist; LHP-Luxury Home Professional
  • Managing Broker's License

Terry can help you in any phase of Residential Real Estates-buying or selling single family homes; investment properties, luxury properties; town-homes/condos; income properties; new construction and resales; vacant land, short-sales; foreclosures and more.  Call her today for a free consultation 719-590-4796.

Experience, Commitment, Hard Work, Enthusiasm, Integrity, Results

When it comes to a successful real estate transaction, you should have seasoned experienced agent on your side.  Terry is experienced, confident, knowledgeable, and above all, she cares.  Whether you’re selling or buying a home, having an agent of our caliber representing you is invaluable.  She will be your advocate, your advisor and will relentlessly use her expertise to pursue your goals!

Get a positive, helpful partner for buying or selling a home:

  • Trusted resource for answers about the process
  • Innovative marketing strategies
  • Expertise about neighborhood features
  • Ability to target home searches
  • Strong negotiation skills
  • Support through the closing and beyond
  • Years of Experience

Find Your Next Home

In this incredibly difficult Seller's market, you need someone who knows how to beat the other buyers to the best homes, get your offer accepted and knows the area inside and out !  Terry can work with you to find the right home at the right price for you, including the neighborhood amenities that matter - not to mention the essential criteria you have for your ideal home.

Sell a Home

When it's time to move, you need someone who will market and advertise your home, show to prospective buyers, negotiate the purchase contract, arrange financing, oversee the inspections, handle all necessary paperwork and supervise the closing.  But even more importantly, an agent who has the experience and knowledge to prevent problems from the get-go and solve the ones that can sink your real estate ship.  She can take care of everything you need, from start to close, making the difficult task of selling less stressful.

Consult on Home Selling Tactics

Often times buyers don't visualize living in your home the way you do.  Terry can help you make your home attractive to its ideal audience - which can help you get top dollar in the shortest time.  Staging and photographing your home, recommending minor repairs or improvements can make the difference between a home getting stale on the market and one that is sold quickly for the maximum net to you.