How do we get a ballpark idea of what maximum loan amount we would qualify for?

Asked by Hans Visser, Morgan Hill, CA Wed Jun 13, 2012

My wife and I are recent immigrants so while our credit history is unblemished our scores are hovering just above 720 due to limited history. Our debt ratio, with current mortgage included, is less than 20%. For comparable credit we have car loans, and an existing $370K mortgage on my wife’s name. Assuming that we are able to show verified income, is there a simple formula to determine what, all things being equal, we would qualify for as total loan? At that (maximum value), what percentage down payment is currently expected?

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Lisa Reeves, Agent, Tampa, FL
Wed Jun 13, 2012
Based upon the information you gave - you are resident aliens. Your scores seem to be fine and your income seems to be good. As you say based upon your income being verified it seems like you can get a mortgage that is equal to or a little more than the one you have currently. Remember that the dollar limit for Fannie Mae is $417,000. The down payment for Fannie Mae can be a little as 5% but to not have mortgage insurance then you will need 20% as a down payment.

If you decide to do what is known as a jumbo loan - you may need to show strong income and assets. Most jumbo loans need at least 20% down payment. There are a few mortgage companies that can do a 80% loan with a 10% 2nd and 10% in down payment. Please keep in mind that if you are buying a water front property you will have slightly higher carrying costs for the property in taxes and insurance.

If you are a doctor - then you will want to do a doctor loan which is based mostly on the employment contract and can be 95% loan up to a 100% loan. I hope this helps.
1 vote
Tonya Bouvet…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Wed Jun 13, 2012
Hi Hans,

Your best bet is to check with a qualified mortgage person. They can tell you all of their restrictions and if you would qualify. I work with several different lenders that have various degrees of ability to loan. If you would like me to refer you to them please call or email me.

As a quaified professional I am here to help you through your entire homebuying process.

Tonya Bouvette, Realtor, CDPE, CNHS
1 vote
Lynn Brock, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Tue Jun 26, 2012
Hans.Visser.Za, a ballpark regarding loan qualification would be provided by a bank or mortgage lenders. Try a national bank and a regional bank / community bank. Each falls under different sets of bank regulations and may have slightly different critieria that you can use as comparison.

A borrowers loanability is based upon several factors: income, assets, credit, and work history. The other side of the transaction is the property. Both sides have to qualify for a loan to close.

A loan officer will be best able to answer your specific questions.

Good luck

Lynn Brock
Brock Realty Inc.

If you'd like to search the MLS like an agent in real time, you can visit our website and sign up for a free Listing Book account. You will be able to change the search criteria to suit yourself and received morning reports regarding new listings, price changes and recent pendings.
0 votes
Jeanne Gleas…, Agent, Apollo Beach, FL
Mon Jun 18, 2012
I think you have received some good advice about being pre-qualified and learning about downpayments, loan rates and fees. Most realtors could point you in the right direction to find a mortgage company. Once you know the amount, the fun part begins! Happy house hunting!
0 votes
Stephen McRo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Tampa, FL
Sun Jun 17, 2012

Take Jim Simms and my advice, as nothing closes without the loan! So it's best to save the easy and fun part, looking and contracting on a home until after you get a loan commitment.

Then, with Commitment Letter and escrow deposit letter in hand, you are ready to go hunting!
0 votes
Jim Simms, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Louisville, KY
Fri Jun 15, 2012
Have your realtor introduce you to the local loan officer they trust the most and go see them with all of your support documentation. It amazes me how many people do not take the time to cover all of their bases on something this BIG and important. Yes, you must gather stuff, block out time to visit the LO and maybe even miss an hour or two of work, that pales in comparison to making a mistake on this stuff. I showed one couple this week how to save about $50,000 over how they thought it should be done. Neither of them was earning that much on their job per the time we invested. Good luck,

Jim Simms
NMLS # 6395
Financing Kentucky One Home at a Time
0 votes
Stephen McRo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Tampa, FL
Fri Jun 15, 2012
Filling out a Loan Application is how a person finds the answers to such questions.

There are a lot of guidlines and calculations that must be done to arrive at what your options are in your situation.

Sound like you are dealing with a lot of issues at once, so your best bet is to contact me or another Mortgage Broker as we know what lenders would show you the flexability you need.
0 votes
Kari Jordan, , Tampa, FL
Thu Jun 14, 2012
I think the best thing to do is speak to a loan officer directly. One of our preferred lenders is Chris Kidder with the Mortgage Firm. His phone number is (813) 443-2190 oe
Please let me know if you have any other questions, Kari Jordan.

Kari Jordan
(813) 928-1969
0 votes
Thomas May, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Jun 14, 2012
Hi .Hans,

Offers on real estate now require a re qualification letter. This is a great opportunity for you to prepare for your home purchase and see what types of loans are available.

You can check with your bank, credit union or mortgage professional.

If you were in the military you may be able to get a VA loan. First time home buyers are 3.5 percent downpayment. You may want to put more down to avoid pmi. Ask your lender about pmi.

Finally it may depend on the property non Fannie Mae approved condos require larger down payments.

You are the right path knowing if you get pre qualified or pre approved which is even better so that your credit can be reviewed and if there are any issues you can work on them proactively verses in a reactive manner when your under contract.

Good Luck,
Tom May
0 votes
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Jun 14, 2012
Here is a very helpful website with mortgage calculators. It was created by one of the most highly respected Ivy League Professors at the Wharton School of Business:

Once you're ready to move forward, you may also want to consider going with one of the recommended "Upfront" Lenders to capture the best rate and lowest "lender related" (garbage fees in my opinion) fees. is one

Hope this helps.

All the best,
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty
0 votes
Howard Vogin, , Boca Raton, FL
Thu Jun 14, 2012

As others have said the best advice is to contact a a qualified mortgage pro and ask them to run the numbers for you. If you want to get an estimate yourself in advance try one of the many online mortgage calculators. I like the one offered from Bankrate:…

Good Luck

Howard Vogin
0 votes
Beate Rodrig…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Sunrise, FL
Wed Jun 13, 2012
Hello Hans,

why would you be satisfied with a "ballpark idea" on how much house you could afford? If you are serious about buying another property, I would recommend contacting a lender for a pre-approval.

The pre-approval is the actual process of applying for a loan. You'll complete an official mortgage application and then supply the lender with the necessary documentation to an extensive check on your financial background and current credit rating.

From this, the lender can tell you the specific mortgage amount for which you are approved. You'll also have an idea of the interest rate you will be charged on the loan. With pre-approval, you will receive a conditional commitment in writing for an exact loan amount, allowing you to look for a home at or below that price level. Obviously, this puts you at an advantage when dealing with a potential seller, as he or she will know you're one step closer to obtaining an actual mortgage.

If you qualify for a FHA loan, a downpayment of 3.5 % is required.

Please feel free to contact me in regards a PRE-APPROVAL at your earliest convenience, if I may be of any service to you.

Best Regards,
Beate Rodriguez
Lic. Loan Originator
Cell: 954.695.4849
0 votes
Erek Kirsten, Agent, Tampa, FL
Wed Jun 13, 2012
In the simplest terms, a typical housing ratio is 28-33% with a total debt ratio of 40-50%
they are called front end and back end ratios they are based upon gross monthly income.
The first ration includes your total housing payment PITI the second includes all monthly debt.

I am also a mortgage broker feel free to contact me if you would like a more detailed pre qualification.
0 votes
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