Deciding how much house you can afford


Mortgage CalculatorsYour lender decides how much you can qualify to borrow but you decide what you can afford.

Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won’t understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you do. So, leave a little room for the unexpected – for all the new opportunities your home will give you to spend money, from furnishings, to landscaping, to repairs.

Historically, banks use a ratio called 28/36 to decide how much borrowers could borrow. An approved housing payment couldn’t be more than 28 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and his or her total debt load, including car payments, student loans, and credit card payments, couldn’t be more than 36 percent. (In Canada lenders apply similar formulas to determine how much a buyer can afford. The Gross Debt Service ratio, or GDS, is not to exceed 32 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and the Total Debt Service ratio, or TDS, is not to exceed 40 percent of the buyer’s total debt load.) As home prices have risen, some lenders have responded by stretching these ratios to as high as 50 percent. No matter how expensive your market though, we urge you to think carefully before stretching your budget quite so much.

Deciding how much you can afford should involve some careful attention to how your financial profile will change in the upcoming years. In the long run, your own peace of mind and security will matter most.

As your Realtor, JoAnn Abercrombie will assist you in exploring all your finance options, and getting you preapproved for a loan, but here is a helpful online mortgage calculator to help you determine loan amounts, mortgage qualification, affordability or whether you should be renting or buying.

Complete the fields below and click Calculate Now. To view the results of each calculation, click on the various tabs. To email yourself a copy of the results, click the Receive this Detailed Analysis link.

Required Fields
Term In Years:     
Interest Rate:      %
Cost of Home:  $
Down Payment:  $  
Annual Insurance:  $  
Estimate Insurance to 0.43% of Cost
Annual Property Tax:  $  
Estimate Tax to 1.2% of Cost
Monthly Income:  $
Monthly Debt:  $
Optional Fields
Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDS):     
Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS):     
Condos Fees:  $
Results
  Receive this Detailed Analysis

Your Monthly Payments
 
Loan Amount:
Loan Insurance (%):
Total Loan (Mortgage) Amount:
 
Principal & Interest:
Homeowners Insurance:
Property Taxes:
Condo Fees:
Monthly Loan Insurance (%):
Total Monthly Payment:
Income Needed to Qualify for the Mortgage
Total Monthly Loan Payment:
Total Monthly Debt Payment:
Monthly Loan Insurance (%):
Qualifying Income of % GDS Ratio:
Qualifying Income of % TDS Ratio:
What You Can Afford
We are using the % ratio.
Cost of House:
Down Payment:
Loan Value:
Monthly Principal & Interest:
Monthly Insurance:
Monthly Property Tax:
Monthly Condo Fees:
 
Cost of House = [(Monthly income x Debt Ratio) – monthly tax – monthly insurance – condo fee] /
(monthly interest rate/ function of interest rate)
Renting
Monthly Rent: $
Annual Rental Increases:  %
Monthly Renter Insurance: $
Savings or Investment Rate:  %
 
Owning
Planned # of years in home: 
Yearly appreciation of the home:  %
Annual home maintenance:  %