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How much Home Could and Should I afford?

The below affordability calculator helps home buyers estimate how much home they should purchase. We calculate your affordability in two ways. The first is based on your income, monthly debts and expenses, and how much cash you have available. We do this to help buyers understand how much of their cash they should use for a down payment while considering closing costs and maintaining a rainy day fund.

The second method we use is similar to how banks will calculate your affordability to provide you the maximum amount you can borrow, using your monthly income, expenses, and debts.

 

Home Information

Home Type The home type, most commonly a single family or condo.

Mortgage Type The mortgage product, most common is a 30 Year Fixed Rate mortgage. More

Monthly HOAs Monthly payments made by home owners to association for common area maintenance and building expenses.

Down Payment Percent The percentage of the home price you're able to provide in cash. This does not include closing costs.

Budget Information

Annual Pre-Tax Income The amount of money you (and spouse if applicable) make in a year, before taxes.

Monthly Non-Debt Expense Estimated monthly spending on items other than debt payments.

Monthly Debts (Non-Housing) Monthly amount spent on debt payments but not including your current housing payment, such as student or auto loan payments.

Total Cash Available For Purchase The total funds available to buy a home, including the down payment.

Your Estimated Affordability Based on Income, Expenses, Debts, and Cash Available

Home Price: $

Mortgage: $


Monthly Taxes: $

Monthly Insurance: $

Monthly PMI: $

Monthly HOAs: $

Monthly Mortgage Payment: $

Mortgage + Taxes + Insurance: $


Closing Costs: $

Down Payment Amount: $

Total Cash to Close: $

Rainy Day Fund: $

Required Savings: $


Interest Rate: %

Mortgage Years:

Your Estimated Affordability Based on Income and Debt Ratios (The Bank Method)

Home Price: $

Mortgage: $


Monthly Taxes: $

Monthly Insurance: $

Monthly PMI: $

Monthly HOAs: $

Monthly Mortgage Payment: $

Mortgage + Taxes + Insurance: $


Closing Costs: $

Down Payment Amount: $

Total Cash to Close: $

Rainy Day Fund: $

Required Savings: $


Interest Rate: %

Mortgage Years:


Questions about affordability planning?

In Chicago, we can connect you with lenders we trust. These lenders are often preferred partners with the agents we know or those we have worked with in the past. As always, we do not collect any fees from lenders, so you can trust our opinion is unbiased.


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How It Works

Our affordability calculator is unique because we generate an affordability estimate in two ways. First, we estimate using commonly used mortgage lender ratios, which provide what we consider to be the ‘maximum’ affordability, or what you can qualify for.

Secondly, we calculate affordability considering the same guidelines based on your income, preexisting debts, and interest rates but consider the amount of cash you have available to use. This method commonly yields a more conservative estimate given it is constrained by the available cash and favors a larger down payment amount and healthy emergency fund.

Monthly Payment

We estimate the monthly payment using current interest rates and the estimated mortgage amount. The monthly payment includes the principal and interest (PnI) that make up the mortgage payment and we estimate taxes and insurance as well as homeowners insurance (HOA) dues and any private mortgage insurance (PMI) where down payment percentages are less than 20%.

For more details on the ratios used to estimate your affordable monthly mortgage payment, see here.

Estimating Taxes and Insurance

We estimate property taxes at 2% of the estimated maximum home price and where down payment percentages of less than 20%, we apply a 0.25% monthly estimate for mortgage insurance. For FHA loans, we include a 0.60% monthly premium and 1.75% upfront premium. We use estimate 0.50% of home price monthly as Homeowner’s Insurance as an estimate for monthly insurance rates. These estimates are subject to change.

Estimating Your Interest Rate

We source interest rates from Quicken Loans and apply different spreads based on the home type, down payment percent, and mortgage product.

Cash to Close and Total Cash Needed

The cash to close is an estimated amount of cash you will need that includes the down payment and closing costs (estimated at 2% of the mortgage amount). This is what you need at a minimum to close on the purchase.

We also estimate three months of living expenses to generate an emergency/rainy day fund and we add that to this amount to estimate the total amount of cash needed to buy a home at the given affordability level.

Common Questions

How Much Mortgage Can I Qualify For?

This amount may vary from lender to lender and will also depend on factors such as current interest rates, the amount of down payment, your credit score, home type, and purchase price. We recommend reaching out to at least three mortgage lenders to get pre-approved and source estimates of the amount of mortgage you may qualify for, subject to the final purchase price of the home.

How Much Mortgage Can I Afford?

There are several factors to consider when determining what is an appropriate amount for you to afford, not just qualify for. While mortgage lenders are required to calculate an amount based on your income, other monthly debt payments, and cash available, only borrowers (or financial advisors) can assess how comfortable an amount fits into a budget.

Our mortgage calculator provides an estimate in two ways to help — we estimate based on commonly use ratios by mortgage lenders, which will estimate the maximum you will likely qualify for, as well as take into account the amount of cash you have available, estimated total monthly payment, and consider carrying a three month rainy day fund (three months of living expenses). This amount is typically lower than what you may qualify for, and is used to estimate a more conservative approach.

How Much Can I afford To Pay Each Month?

When assessing what amount you can afford to pay each month, borrowers need to consider the entire loan payment, not just the mortgage payment. This includes estimates for property taxes, insurance and any HOAs.

Our affordability calculator provides the total monthly payment estimate alongside your estimated mortgage payment to help you better plan.

More Questions?

Shoot us an email at and we’ll refer you to the right person!

Interest Rate Sources: St Louis Federal Reserve, Quicken Loans

The affordability calculator is intended for planning and educational purposes only. The output of the tool is not a loan offer or solicitation, nor is it financial or legal advice. Talk to a lender to find out exactly how much home you can afford.