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Before you start looking at homes, it's a good idea to find a target price range that you can afford.  A mortgage lender will want to make sure you can handle the down payment, plus a monthly mortgage payment made up of the principal, interest, taxes and insurance.

Interest rates and personal finances will influence the amount you can afford.  For a quick estimate of a monthly mortgage payment for which you may qualify, use the following worksheet.  You can also use the mortgage calculator for any home posted on this website.  But remember it is always good to talk to a lender before you start looking for a home.  I can refer you to lenders suited to your specific financial needs.

Worksheet
*Annual gross income (before taxes):
*Divide by number of months:
*Monthly gross income:
*Many lenders will not allow more than 28% of your monthly Gross income on housing:
*Maximum monthly housing
*Expense allowance:
*Many lenders will not allow you to spend more than 36% of your Monthly Gross income on long-term debt
*Total monthly debt, not including housing:
*Add housing allowance form above:

  Total:

In addition to the mortgage you borrow from a lender, normally you will be required to make a cash down payment.  Conventional loan down payments range anywhere from 5 to 20%, depending on the requirements of your lender.  There are also specialized loan programs that allow for as little as 3% down for those who qualify.  A higher down payment often allows the lender to be more flexible with a loan package, including interest rates and closing costs.  In addition to the down payment, you will need to have enough cash available to pay closing costs.

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