If you are house hunting, you should be concerned about buying a home that you can afford, but what does that mean?
The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t commit more than 28 percent of your total monthly gross income to housing expenses. That is mortgage, taxes and homeowner’s insurance. The Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants advise consumers that while 28 percent can be used for planning purposes, other considerations need to be made, as well.
Other long-term debt obligations, such as car loans and credit card balances, when combined with housing expenses, should not exceed 36 percent of your gross income. Also, give some thought to the size of the down payment, but don’t use all your savings for the down payment. You should have rainy day funds to cover unexpected expenses, or you’ll find yourself borrowing more money down the road.
The key to successful home ownership is finding a house that fits comfortably into your family’s budget and lifestyle.