I am sending you a link to the Orange County housing assistance program website. I would highly recommend you start there. There are various programs that will either give you grant for a down payment, which usually does not have to be repaid if you remain in the home for a designated period of time, or they may offer low interest loans. If for some reason you do not qualify for their particular program, they can recommend alternatives for you. They will counsel and guide you through the process. They usually partner with local Realtors and lenders who will be happy to meet with you at one of their seminars to help you. I am located in Lake County, so I am not totally familiar with how Orange County works, but ask if they have a list of lenders and Realtors they can provide to you. Your Realtor needs to be aware of how their process works for funding in order to avoid delays and pitfalls of working within their programs. By using the lenders on their preferred partner lists, the program usually insures that the lenders will offer you fair deals on financing and rates.
Best of luck to you!
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Your max rent payment
your anticipated mortgage payment
+ your monthly taxes (in NYC area, these are easily more that 1500/mo)
+ your homeowner's insurance, which may be high since you're in a hurrican area
+ Homeowners associate dues (if you buy a co-op, condo or townhouse)
+ 10% of your mortgage payments for repairs
remember, when you're renting and the hot water heater goes, you call the landlord and he fixes it for you. When taxes go up, its not immediately passed on to you. Does your rent currently cover any utilities? In NY its common for rent to cover heating the apt which with current oil and natural gas prices, is becoming a huge expense. Anything else your rent covers (water bills, internet connection, etc) add onto the list of things you have to pay for when you own a home. Also, do you have the 20% downpayment? If you do not, with the current market freefall, you could be upside down in 6 months (meaning you owe more on your house that its worth). In this scenario, it becomes nearly impossible to sell unless you're willing to take a loss and pay off that loss over a few years. If you were to become sick/pregnant, does your work pay you short term disability? Will this amount cover your bills and will your job be there are ready for you to come back when you're done? I'm young also and when I hear "getting sick" I think often that I'm too young for serious illness. But consider also getting something like mono. Its not that uncommon and you'll be out of work for 4-6 weeks. Can you cover this?
I'm not trying to be overly negative but all the advice you've gotten so far seems to imply that if your mortgage = your current rent, you should be able to buy. Homeownership is a much greater expense and responsibility and you should be prepared for it.
Mortgage Brokers have the ability to analyze your specific needs and determine which if any homebuyer programs are available to you... and if they make sense at all.
The bank loan calculators are generic. There are government backed loans from the FHA and Fannie Mae that can help you in your situation...
Your boyfriend's money may potentially be able to be used as an income if he has been paying you over time.
Affording your rent is subjective though - you believe you can which is great... but the bank needs to be sure based on your income history that their investors feel that you are a safe investment.
If you would like to go through a prequalification, feel free to contact me.
1) There are some other expenses associated with beign a home owner, namely taxes, hoa and repairs/fixes to the house over time.
2) What happens if you break up with your boyfriend and he moves out? Would you still be able to hold the house or would you need to sell it?
The first step to understanding how much home you can afford is by becoming fully preAPPROVED. I recommend speaking to a minimum of two mortgage lenders (within a 45 day time frame) who specilize in assisting 1st time home buyers with receiving downpayment and closing costs assistance. They'll be able to look at your credit score, credit history, income, debt, etc. and tell you how much assistance you qualify for depending on your situation. I have clients who have and are receiving $10-45,000 in downpayment and closing costs assistance. I can assist you with finding the right lenders and help negotiate the right deal once you become preapproved. Feel free to call or email for further assistance.
I have brand new town homes for sale in Sanford/Lake Mary that start in the $140k. You can own a home for $840 a month principle/ interest. We are paying all closing cost if you choose to partner with our lender. There is a full builder warranty so you don't need to worry about repairs. Check out the link below and make an appointment so we can show you what your buying power is!
Thanks for your time,
You have received some great advice. I would also add, try to get a local lender. Should you be approved and are ready to buy your first home, if the lender is local, ask them to come to the closing with you. If there were to be any problems, it's a lot easier to be able to talk to the person face to face than try to email them, especially if in another part of the country.
This is a really exciting time for you, I would also attend a "Builder's First Home Buying Seminar". You don't have to buy a home from them, but the information you will receive regarding the process will help educate you.
Once you have been approved, choose an experienced Realtor to help find your home, whether it is new or resale. Make sure that Realtor will come to your closing also.