5 Factors to Consider When Creating a House Buying Budget

by Dusty Rhodes on Sep 06, 2023  in 
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You may be wondering whether or not you are financially prepared to purchase a house. Aside from the mortgage, it’s important to account for both the upfront costs of purchasing the house as well as the expenses you will incur after closing. While saving up for a down payment is certainly a great start, you also need to prepare for other financial responsibilities that come with purchasing a new home. Here are five factors you should consider when creating a budget for your new home.

1. Your Mortgage Payment

Your mortgage payment refers to the monthly amount you will pay towards your home each month. This number is based on a number of factors including the sales price of the home, your interest rate, how much you put down on the house, as well as property taxes. A mortgage lender can crunch all these numbers to get a good estimate for your monthly mortgage payment. They will also look at your loan-to-value ratio and your income versus mortgage payments to help you avoid purchasing a home outside of your budget.

2. Property Taxes

In addition to your mortgage payments, you will also be required to pay annual property taxes. These taxes are determined by assessing the value of the property. The assessed value is based largely on the location and the desirability of that location as well as current real estate market conditions. Property taxes will vary from one house to another, so be sure and get an estimate prior to purchasing a home, as these taxes could adda few hundred dollars or more to your monthly mortgage payment.

3. Down Payment

The down payment is the part of the home’s purchase price that you pay upfront. This is the part of the home-buying process that looms large for those looking to buy a home. A down payment of 20% is ideal, as it allows the buyer to bypass mortgage insurance (which could add an additional $100-$300 or more to your monthly payment.) However, putting 20% down isn’t required. The average down payment is between 6-7% for first-time home buyers and around 17% for repeat buyers.

4. Utilities/HOA Fees/Upkeep

Aside from the cost of purchasing the home, buyers also need to consider ongoing monthly expenses. Some monthly bills such as internet and TV won’t change, but utilities can vary greatly from one house to another. Utilities can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars a month depending on the size of the house. Other factors like a pool or hot tub can also increase monthly utility bills. Some homes might also be part of a homeowners association or a neighborhood association that could add additional fees. Finally, you need to factor in the cost of upkeep for the home including yard maintenance, repairs to the home, and an emergency fund for unexpected repairs.

5. Furnishing the Home

Purchasing a home is only the first step. Once you buy the house, you then have to think about furnishing it. First-time home buyers will have a lot of furniture to buy while repeat buyers may be able to reuse some items from one home to the next. In either case, there will inevitably be plenty of items that need to be purchased in order to furnish the home. Be sure to factor the expense of furniture into your house-buying budget.

Dusty Rhodes