How much mortgage can we afford on my family’s income? How can we be certain we are not getting in too deep and ending up with more house than our budget can afford? The answers to this and much more are easy to learn with just a little research. Top mortgage experts show how to learn exactly how much mortgage you can afford!

First, gather your facts. What is your income? This bit of information is crucial to learn how much you can plan to pay on a mortgage. Is your income stable? How secure is your job? Of course, you may not know exactly how stable your income is, but if you suspect your job is about to go away, it is not a good time to worry about how much you can spend on a home; instead wait for stable times to return. Gather your monthly credit payments for any other debt you carry.

Determine how much money you can afford as a mortgage down payment. No matter how much, or how you figure it, a down payment will be a mortgage requirement. 20% is a good amount because it will allow you to obtain better rates and terms than if you only put down 3%.

Once you have the information on income, you should locate an Internet-based mortgage calculator that will work in reverse. What does this mean? Instead of placing a mortgage amount into the calculator, you input your income. You will input the monthly amount you pay on debt, how large your mortgage prepayment is, the current interest rate you expect to pay, how much the property taxes are, and how long your mortgage repayment period will be. If you can’t easily find out how much property taxes to expect, use a “guestimate” for early calculations. Here is one such calculator, and here's one more.

Be aware that if you can't afford a down payment of 20% on a home, you will be required to have private mortgage insurance (PMI) and that cost will have to be added. PMI can add quite a bit to the monthly payment and protects the mortgage holder. Try very, very hard to have 20% to place down on the mortgage. Following these basic steps and you'll know how much mortgage you can afford!


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