Buying a Home in Your Budget
But how do you figure out how much you can afford?
Your Current & Future Expenses
Before applying for a mortgage, take a comprehensive look at your budget and existing debts, and then consider how a new home would add to it. Remember – it’s not just the mortgage payments, but also the electric bill, water bill, and other costs.
The Down Payment
Affordability also depends on the down payment: The more you put down, the less you pay monthly. But if you don’t have enough for a down payment, it won’t matter if you can afford the monthly payments, because you won’t be able to buy the house.
Many buyers try to put down 20%. But because that could be as much as $40,000 on a $200,000 house, that's the kind of money you’d really have to plan for. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, though, your down payment could be as little as 3%.
3% Down for First-Time Buyers
Affinity Plus offers the 97% Home Purchase Loan to first-time homebuyers, requiring only 3% up front.
Fixed Rates Mean Predictable Payments
When you're checking out mortgage interest rates, keep in mind that fixed rates (vs. adjustable ones) give you the advantage of a consistent amount due every month. And that's easier for budget planning.
Consider Getting Preapproved
Another way to get a really good idea of realistic price ranges is to apply for a mortgage preapproval. That gives you an idea about how much you could afford and what you’d ideally like to spend. And on top of that, it makes you look more serious to sellers.
**Rate adjustments may apply to all loans with a 3% down payment based on credit, loan to value and debit to income.