Mortgages: What Can I Get vs. What Can I Afford?

What mortgage can you afford

Whether you’re a first time home buyer or looking to upgrade from your current home into something bigger, making the decision on how large of a place to get is a big decision. Of course, bigger usually means more expensive too.

During the mortgage loan process or pre-approval stage, many people are surprised to find they may ‘qualify’ for a higher dollar mortgage than they anticipated. Now this isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing...but it should re-direct the conversation to revolve around what you can afford versus what you qualify for.

Although maybe it should go without saying, but there is more to affording and paying for your home than getting your mortgage loan approved.

If you’re a first time home buyer, have you calculated your monthly payment? Is it more than what you might be paying to live now (rent, living with roommates, living at home)? Have you considered what property taxes may cost you monthly or annually? What utilities do you currently pay and will there be new ones as a homeowner or will there be additional ones that you don’t even pay today? Will you have a little money saved for when unexpected repairs and maintenance are needed?

If you are someone looking to upgrade to a larger home, you have more experience, but most likely taxes, utilities and your payment will be bigger.

Now listen, we’re not trying to scare you away from homeownership. We just want successful homeowners! So before you buy, consider a few things:

  • Practice making your new payment for a few months. Keep track of it in separate account and see if you can comfortable do it. Prove to yourself you can do it. If you can then you will have a greater peace of mind. If you can’t then you might need to reconsider what you can afford.
  • Calculate your taxes and utilities and make sure you can cover it monthly. Remember depending on where you live, some utilities may be covered in your property taxes (garbage or sewer for example) or not.
  • Don’t spend every last dollar saved on the down payment. Loan rates remain low. So keep some reserves to have a little bit of a safety net when something needs repaired – which will absolutely happen.
  • And finally, if you’re a first time home buyer, set a little money aside to buy your first lawnmower! It’s the kind of thing that never crosses your mind until the grass needs mowing...then it might be too late!

At CIBM Bank we understand your hard work, your commitment and the financial decisions you have to make on daily basis ¬– whether that be for your business, or buying or maintaining a home, or just your day-to-day financial-related needs. We also understand there are times you just need some help. And that’s what we’re here for. To help makes things a little easier for you, to provide experts who can walk you through the variety of options to best meet your particular needs, and to provide just a little more peace-of-mind. Call us or visit www.cibmbank.com