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How Much Home Can I Afford?

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When you are ready to buy a home you will need to first ask yourself "What can I truly afford?" A common mistake people make is not taking a big picture approach in answering this question. Consider the following expenses when determining your true bottom-line.

Property Taxes

Property tax amounts will vary based on the home and its assessed value but can increase depending on the community, school and local budgets. This can add hundreds of dollars to your monthly payment.

Homeowner's Insurance

This form of insurance is purchased separately and will insure the value of your home against theft, fire and possibly flood damage. You will need to shop around for the best price and consider that costs can go up year to year.

Home Improvements

You'll most likely want to do some upgrades once you purchase your home. This can include flooring, appliances and painting. We suggest that you make a list of all the upgrades you are considering so you can leave room in your budget for these additional expenses.

Landscaping Maintenance

If you happen to purchase a home with a sizable yard and stunning landscaping you will need to consider not only the expense but also the amount of time and energy that is required for maintenance.

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates constantly change based upon a variety of economic factors that impact the demand for mortgages among investors.

Fees and Closing Costs

These are expenses and fees that you will be responsible for paying such as home appraisal, home inspection and the other professional services needed to purchase a home.


Unfortunately utilities expenses are something every homeowner (and some renters) have to take into account. These expenses include water, gas and electricity…..to name a few. Remember depending on your home size this expense can vary and add up quickly. Tips: Request that your JCL Realty Agent ask the seller what their average monthly costs were over the last year.

PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)

Unless you can put down 20% on your mortgage, you'll be required to pay PMI; this protects the lender from potential default on the loan. Private Mortgage Insurance can run up to .75% of your loan amount.

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