Buying a home and settling into a place that’s yours and yours alone is a dream that most people have. We want to build a site for our families and those we love to feel comfortable and create a space where we can step forward into our future. Unfortunately, many people aren’t sure how much house they need and can bite off more than they can chew. If you’re still unsure about how much home you need and want to check your math before you leap: here’s what you should consider.
Are You Expecting Any Life Changes?
Is there anything in your life that could lead to a sizable financial change? Usually, weddings will result in more income added to households, but having children will impact how much you’re able to spend on your home. Be honest with yourself and the changes coming in your life, don’t buy a house that your income won’t be able to keep up with.
How Much Work Does The House Need?
Consider how much effort you can put into your home. Not only do repairs add cost, but they also mean you have to spend time on the house instead of with those you care about. If repairing the place is something you can afford- and want to share with your family and loved ones- that’s fantastic! Otherwise, think about whether your bank account can handle having to finish anything that’s needed.
On top of this note, it’s also essential to think about how much land and space there is. Could you afford to hire a service to maintain your lawns and property if needed?
What Can You Afford Right Now?
Without trying to factor in where you’re going in life and how much you could afford in ten years: what can you afford now? A good rule of thumb is never to spend more than a quarter of your income on your housing payments. If you make $60,000 a year, that means you shouldn’t pay more than $1,250 a month on rent or house payments. That could mean that you could afford a $150,000 home in ten years or a $450,000 home in a 30-year mortgage. You can use a house payment calculator to break down these numbers further.
Could You Handle The Extra Charges?
Unfortunately, the house’s cost isn’t the only charge most people face when buying a home. Closing costs add two to three percent of the home’s price, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Most more excellent areas have an HOA, which means you’ll have to pay monthly fees to ensure your property value stays up. HOA fees can range from fifty to a few hundred dollars depending on the area, which could make you feel like you’re paying a double mortgage.
Property taxes are once a year but are another charge that leaves many people tightening their budgets. If you think you can handle all of these, then go for it! If not, it’s best to hold off a little longer.