Okay, you’ve decided to buy a home and are trying to figure out what you can afford. Before you go home buying, you need to carefully consider what you can afford as far as a mortgage payment.
The first step you should take in determining what you can afford is to talk to a mortgage lender. In fact, the best step you can take is to go through the loan process to the extent required to get a pre-qualification letter. A pre-qualification letter tells you and a seller how big of a home loan the lender will give you.
So, once you have the loan in hand, that must be the amount you can afford? The answer is maybe or maybe not. The prequalification letter is based on a number of factors such as your earnings and credit. It is not based on a picture of your life, which can lead to problems.
There is nothing worse than buying a home and straining to make the monthly mortgage payments. This situation occurs when a homebuyer relies solely on the pre-qualification letter or their own wishful thinking. You may have purchased your dream home, but don’t let the payments be a nightmare.
In determining how much you can afford to expend on a home purchase, you must consider your overall financial situation. Although you may be in a decent financial situation at the moment, do you have future expenses that will put pressure on your finances? Such situations might include:
1. Planning to have kids in the next year or so?
2. Are your current children going to college soon?
3. If you own a business, is the financial outlook stable?
4. If you work for a company, are you reasonably sure the company is headed in the right direction?
5. Do you have any concerns regarding the dreaded downsizing?
6. If you are the sole bread winner, what would happen if you were unable to work for a few months because of health issues?
These general questions are intended to wake you up to the possibility of over extending yourself on a mortgage. Every situation is different, so make sure you take a careful look at your life to make sure you are committing to a loan you can afford now and in the future.