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Back One Step STEP 1:
WHAT CAN I AFFORD?
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It’s an exciting time, but before you head out in search of your new home take some time to review your finances.  Be sure to consider the expenses involved in owning a home when you outline your budget. Can you afford to buy a home? Let's find out.

Am I ready?

To help you get a better grasp of your financial situation, try these easy-to-use tools:

The costs of homeownership
Owning a home is a big responsibility that comes with great rewards. Budgeting is important, so plan for sudden expenses that may arise in addition to your regular monthly expenses. Don’t forget to include all costs in your monthly budget including: 
  • Property taxes and special assessments
  • Home/hazard insurance
  • Property maintenance
  • Association and membership fees (for condominiums, townhomes and some developments)

Some of the fees mentioned above are part of your monthly mortgage payment while others are not – be sure to ask about how these fees are to be paid. 

Credit and credit histories
It’s no secret. Your credit history is an important factor that affects your ability to obtain a mortgage for the purchase of your home. Lenders want to see how you borrowed and repaid money in the past. This is reflected in your FICO score. FICO scores range from 300 to 850, and lenders believe that borrowers with higher scores are more likely to repay their loan.

Downpayments
You will need to make an up-front investment in your new home in order to get a mortgage.  The amount of the downpayment, or the initial payment made when buying a home, will also impact your ability to get a mortgage as well as the interest rate and terms of the mortgage loan. Buyers who contribute their own funds to the purchase of a home are considered a better overall credit risk.

If you’re making a downpayment that is less than 20% of the home price, mortgage insurance will be required.

Questions about what you can afford?
If you have questions about the financial aspects of homeownership, check out the HMFA's First-Time Homebuyer Guide | Traducción al Español (4.6MB PDF download), or visit our FAQs.

Go back to Overview of Steps

Go on to Step 2: Finding an Affordable Property

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