If you are looking to expand your residence, there are a couple general rules to follow so you don't find yourself "house poor" with an additional mouth to feed. Whether looking to buy or rent, your total monthly payment for housing should be no more than 28% of your gross monthly income (that is, your income before taxes). When purchasing a home, this would include your mortgage principle plus any interest, taxes or insurance included in your monthly payment. Depending on your tax rate and loan interest rate, these costs can figure anywhere from 10-20% of your monthly payment. Once you have a ballpark figure, a mortgage loan officer at your bank or a real estate agent can help you solidify a price range you feel comfortable searching in.
Here is a simple formula to see how much car you can get for your available bucks. This should give you an ideal price range in that will fit your budget and your needs:
- Figure out what you can afford to pay monthly and multiply it by the number of months you would like to pay (typically 35, 48 or 60 months).
- Add to that amount any down payment or trade-in value you may have.
- Now subtract out any taxes (around 7-8%) and loan interest (2-7%).
For the month of February we are going to focus on keeping your family organized. We'll address topics from staying organized while pregnant, getting organized for baby and simple ways to teach your kids to help keep your house in order.