When you start shopping for a new home, it’s hard to know what you can afford. We dream big, we look at our favorite neighborhoods, and often we overestimate what we can stomach in monthly payments.
A great start is getting a pre-approval letter. This tells you an approximate amount for what you’d be approved for should apply for a mortgage. But we want to encourage you to break it down into your MONTHLY expenditure.
Lenders look at your credit, job, and a couple of other things, but one of the biggest factors is your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. Basically you can find this by adding up all your monthly payments, and divide them by your gross monthly income. This will give you your overall debt-to-income ratio. Ultimately, what helps you most know how much house you can afford, is to look at how much the monthly mortgage payment would be.
So, what does that look like for you, as you go house hunting?
- Look at your monthly expenditures. Think about what you’d be comfortable with adding to that each month. Is there something you can change?
- Talk to your partner. What is most important to you in a home? List out your priorities. What fits in your budget?
- Work on your credit! Credit plays into your DTI because it’s a part of your monthly expenditure. So if you’re working to improve your DTI, that’s an easy place to start! We have some tips here.
We hope this helps you as you gauge how much house you can afford, and you find the home you dream of for you and your family! And if you still need a lender, reach out. We’re only a phone call away, and we value you the same things you do. Faith and family.
The Christian Mortgage Mom