Smart Money Podcast: ‘How Much House Can I Afford?’

Sean PylesOct 21, 2019

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Welcome to NerdWallet’s SmartMoney podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions — in 15 minutes or less.

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This week’s question is from Steve in Denver. He asks: “I’m looking to buy a house in the next year, but I’m not sure what I can afford. How can I know how much house I can afford?”

Know your housing budget. When sorting out , aim to keep all debt payments — including a mortgage — within 36% of your pre-tax income.

Can’t come up with a 20% down payment? You don’t need to. mortgage insurance as a trade-off, you can get away with putting as little as 3% down.

Even if you have the cash, ask if you’re emotionally prepared for homeownership. Having a home can be rewarding, but it’s a lot of work. If you don’t want to handle maintenance or don’t think you’ll stay in your house for at least three years, .

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More about homebuying on NerdWallet

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