Home Buying in 92007>Question Details

Stephan, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

How do I figure out what home I can afford in 92007?

Asked by Stephan, San Francisco, CA Mon Apr 23, 2007

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7
I'll disagree with Mr. Shafran...a little bit. Many Realtor referred lenders lack objectivity. You should be contacting a lender BEFORE you start interviewing Realtors (no sense getting al excited about a home you can't afford). I've helped many folks in Del Mar/Solana beach (my hometown) with home loans. This award-winning article might help:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 11, 2007
An excellent question and it should not be based on what the bank says you are qualified to borrow.

I would sit down and make a detailed budget so you know what you bring in each month and what your costs area. This should include lifestyle expenses as well. Generally this will lead you to realize that what you are qualified to borrow and what you are comfortable living (in order to pay the bills but also live the lifestyle you enjoy and hopefully put money into savings or an IRA each month) on are very different.

You also need to consider all the expenses one incurs with a home purchase, which go well beyond the mortgage, interest, insurance, taxes and possible HOA fees or Mello Roos.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 17, 2008
depends on your defination of afford!

In my humble opinion, your 30 year mortgage should never be moe than 25 - 30% of your total income

Think about that for a moment, if your a couple, and something happens to the co-borrower, can you still afford that house??

most cant!

So...one borrower, 25 - 30%, you will sleep better!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 15, 2008
I believe the best way to figure this out is to go with your own gut on how much you can afford per month, and then find a real estate professional you trust, who will tell you the realistic, worst case, total out-the-door-expense, with everything included, and then have them calculate how much your monthly budget translates to in sales price.

If your gut feeling turns out to be unrealistic, then your advisor should help you readjust your expectations. If they believe you can comfortably afford more than you first thought, they should point out why, but not pressure you to leave your comfort zone. Ultimately, you know yourself best, and a good professional should provide you with all the information in layman's terms, so you can make an intelligent decision.

As a buyer's advocate, who is both a real estate broker, as well as a registered mortgage advisor, I specialize in helping people buy homes and finance them, together, at one point of contact. Feel free to ping me for an awesome mortgage calculator that factors in down payment, principal, real-time interest rates, tax, insurance, hoa fees, mello roos, property taxes, your estimated income tax deduction, realistic appreciation models, and even how long your reserves can cover you.

Or call anytime for help figuring out exactly where you stand.
Web Reference: http://www.sethchalnick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 15, 2008
No matter where you buy, you need to first determine, through talking to a lender what you will be able to afford. I suggest that you find a realtor you feel you can trust, and ask their suggestions for a lender. A reputable realtor will give you at least 3 names for you to choose from, and be able to tell you a bit about each lender, for you to get the feel of which might be best for you. I caution you to beware of Realtors who are also lenders. I feel that it is a conflict of interest for the same person to represent you in both areas. When looking for a realtor, find out how they work. Once you "hire" them, do they really work with you? Or do they pass you on to assistants and staff to help you? When you need to call them, can you get them on the phone, or do you get voice mail and other staff members? If it is important to you to work with the person you hire, ask these questions. The right Realtor can help you find the right lender and right home to meet your familys needs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 22, 2007
I happen to agree with you, Brian. Knowing what you can afford, based on a discussion with a reputable lender, is an essential first step. But you must also look at your personal budget and expenses and factor those in as well. Once you have a dollar figure you can afford monthly you can start working with a REALTOR who can share the list of homes in 92007 that meet your criteria for price as well as style, size and amenities. The article Brian references is a good one. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 18, 2007
The first step is to interview the most highly qualified realtors you can find in the city. Once you choose the one to work with, they should have an established relationship with a lender both they and you trust. It is critical that this lender is accountable to both you and the real estate company for future business. The lender will then be able to help provide you with the best information regarding what you can afford and feel most comfortable with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2007
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