How Much Can I Afford?

You’ve decided home ownership is in your future and you are ready to dive into the Bozeman area real estate market, now you must find out what you can afford. The next step is to find a lender. Your lender decides what you can borrow but you decide what you can afford. This will help narrow your home search and bring you peace of mind as you tour homes that meet your needs and wants.

Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won’t understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you do. So, leave a little room for the unexpected – for all the new opportunities your home will give you to spend money, from furnishings, to landscaping, to repairs.

Historically, banks use a ratio called 28/36 to decide how much borrowers could borrow. An approved housing payment couldn’t be more than 28 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and his or her total debt load, including car payments, student loans, and credit card payments, couldn’t be more than 36 percent. The Gross Debt Service ratio, or GDS, is not to exceed 32 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and the Total Debt Service ratio, or TDS, is not to exceed 40 percent of the buyer’s total debt load.) As home prices have risen, some lenders have responded by stretching these ratios to as high as 50 percent. No matter how expensive your market though, please think carefully before stretching your budget quite so much.

Bozeman Dream Kitchen

Bozeman Dream Kitchen

Deciding how much you can afford should involve some careful attention to how your financial profile will change in the upcoming years. In the long run, your own peace of mind and security will matter most.

Contact Everdawn today to discuss your home purchase options.