With floor plans, square footage, and finishes all over the map, sorting through homes — whether in Alexandria, VA, or Seattle, WA — is infinitely easier with a price point in mind. But while a lender can tell you what your current financial picture allows you to qualify for, that’s not necessarily how much home you can afford. In fact, relying solely on this piece of information can put you in a financial bind.
Credit health, income, and debt load — all key elements lenders consider — are important but not the full picture. Other factors, the things your lender isn’t required to look at, can quickly turn an affordable home into a burden or crowd out other important financial priorities. Consider these five factors when assessing how much home you can really afford.