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How Much Can I Afford?

Knowing how much you can afford to pay is a crucial step in your search. Nailing down your budget early will make the overall process more focused and less stressful.

Here’s a good way to figure out how much you can afford:

The 28/36 Rule

The 28/36 rule is an established benchmark used by many lenders to determine how much credit to offer you. Here's how it works:

 


 

Get preapproved for a mortgage. Your lender can approve you for a certain to loan amount prior to your home search. This gives you a solid number against which you can assess the affordability of the houses you visit.

 


 

 

 

The "28" refers to the notion that no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly household income should go toward housing costs, which include mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance.

To calculate, simply multiply your gross monthly income (amount before taxes) by .28. Use this amount as a guide for how much house you can afford.

Example: You earn an annual salary of $70,000. Divide 70,000 by 12, giving you a monthly gross income of $5,833. Multiply that by .28, and you'll find you should spend no more than $1,633 each month on total housing costs.

The "36" part of the 28/36 rule refers to your overall debt, which shouldn't exceed 36 percent of your income. This is important to consider because other high monthly debt loads – such as car and credit card payments – impact the amount you can afford to spend on housing.

For first-time home buyers, the tricky part is knowing how much to budget for taxes and insurance. Your agent can assist you with this.

Get In Touch

Local Expert Updates

Greg Sheeler Real Estate Professional (Real Estate Agent)

Greg Sheeler

Real Estate Professional

712.330.1573

712.336.4967

Janie Eick  (Real Estate Agent)

Janie Eick

712.339.0574

712.336.4967

Matt Lippon Broker Associate (Real Estate Agent)

Matt Lippon

Broker Associate

712.330.0604

712.336.4967

Aaron Jones RE/MAX Hall of Fame (Real Estate Agent)

Aaron Jones

RE/MAX Hall of Fame

712.320.9442

712.336.4967

Community Updates

Brooke Stecker Team Evans and Stecker (Real Estate Agent)

Brooke Stecker

Team Evans and Stecker

 641.420.2172

 brooke@sellboji.com

Starbucks

Spirit Lake

Starbucks is located in the HY-VEE grocery store in Spirit Lake. The employees at this location are amazing. They will always provide you with great service. Even if you are not a coffee fan make sure

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Greg Sheeler Real Estate Professional (Real Estate Agent)

Greg Sheeler

Real Estate Professional

 712.330.1573

 greg@okobojipropertygroup.com

Kurio Kastle

Spirit Lake

This place is one of the most fun businesses in the lakes area for kids, or adults who are creative, and likes to paint! Kurio Kastle is a pottery painting "palace," for anyone and everyone! You pick

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Brooke Stecker Team Evans and Stecker (Real Estate Agent)

Brooke Stecker

Team Evans and Stecker

 641.420.2172

 brooke@sellboji.com

The Ritz

Arnolds Park

Best pizza in town with an amazing view! Dock the boat and stop in the Ritz for a pizza and cold beverages. They offer live bands in the summer and during winter games! The Ritz offers a breakfast

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