Can I Be a Home Owner?
How much can I afford?
Costs of owning a home
Find a homebuyer program
Getting pre-qualified for a loan
Finding a lender
Choosing a mortgage
Shopping interest rates
Loan application costs
The appraisal process
Qualifying for a loan
Importance of getting an inspection
How to find a qualified inspector
Different types of inspections
Preparing for closingHomebuyer's Dictionary (glossary)
Understanding closing costs
Setting a closing date
At your closing
After your closing
How Much Can I Afford?
Determining your ability to comfortably pay monthly mortgage payments is something for which lenders will use established guidelines. A general rule is that a household's mortgage payment should not exceed 36 percent of its income on all its debt, which includes the monthly mortgage payment; and that the mortgage itself should not exceed 28 percent of the household income.
Remember, if you are purchasing a home with a spouse or other partner, you can include that person's income (and, of course, consider his or her debts) when computing the cost of the home you can afford. Mortgage calculators can be great tools when making these calculations.
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