Is there any good websites that all a user to do a full home cost breakdown ? I don't want to be a foreclosure stat. I want to know what I can

Asked by Joe Belliveau, Boston, MA Tue Aug 23, 2011

afford Like the question says. I currently have a mint.com account and am budgeting for a home, problem is I need help determining how much of a home I can afford. I make good money but am an IT contractor and can some times go a month or so without work. And I'd like some other tools to help me make an informed decision about what I can expect to pay out month to month.

Thanks For any help.

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Richard Shap…, , Framingham, MA
Tue Aug 23, 2011
BEST ANSWER
Other than the PITI, its hard to know but you can find out. You can ask a seller about ave costs for heating and electric. A lot may depend on the provider and the type of heat, oil or gas.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Tue Aug 23, 2011
In order to know what one can afford, rather than relying on online budgeting, do visit with any loan officer; he/she can determine qualification, provide you with good faith estimates, etc.--be aware that a mortgage pre-approval letter is required in order to determine your price range and for any offers to be taken seriously...
1 vote
Richard Shap…, , Framingham, MA
Tue Aug 23, 2011
Since you are self employed, I would strongly suggest that you speak to a Lender/Broker for this information.

Most, me included, would help you out with no fee or obligation. I think you will get the most accurate information this way. Please do not hesitate contacting me to discuss.

Good Luck.
1 vote
Red Hilton, Agent, Quincy, MA
Fri Sep 16, 2011
Getting answers online is a great place to start! I also tell me First Time Home Buyers to attend a FTHB seminar and make sure it is a CHAPA approved class (typically 8 hours long). I have been teaching these classes for non profits for 10 years and I have never had anyone tell me they were a waste of time. You are smart to get as much information as possible, now you should start assembling your team to help you apply this new found knowledge to your situation.

If you are concerned about getting into a mortgage that you wont be able to afford, I always suggest getting pre-approved for an MHP Soft Second loan. They are very safe and sustainable. Keep in mind mortgages that are affordable may not be sustainable. Check out websites like CHAPA.org and my website (AskForRed.com) for more information on MHP Soft second and area non profits that can help plan for your future as a home owner.

Best of Luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.AskForRed.com
0 votes
V, , Shrewsbury, MA
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Couple of comments:
1) hire a good inspector - this will help determine what is likely to need repair in the next 1-5 yrs
2) call the utility company yourself to find out what the cost is to heat the house if the house uses gas or electric heat. Takes 2 minutes. If heat is oil, more difficult to find out. Don't rely on the sellers disclosures for this, especially for an older house.
3) you should make your OWN decisions on what you can afford. I agree with Mack that banks will lend you more that you can comfortably afford. Go with what you feel comfortable with, now what a bank tells you that you can afford.

Finally I would wait if I were you, I wish I had waited longer to buy.
0 votes
Mikel DeFran…, Agent, Canton, MA
Tue Aug 23, 2011
Run down a pro-forma of all your anticipated costs, put in some extra padding to each .... create and maintain an emergency fund and plan on having your housing budget be a very conservative number, such as 25% of your gross income.
Oh.. and I'd wait until you have long term employment, not contractor work ( unless you are very confident that will maintain it's frequency and you really beef up that emergency fund ! )

Good Luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.SuccessInMass.com
0 votes
Michael Giles, Agent, Beverly, MA
Tue Aug 23, 2011
The lender can quote you the fixed costs and administrative fees but there are several issues that are property specific and can't be defined until you have located your property Some of the things you want to think about while searching that will effect your payment and closing costs are :

Some of the other costs to think about are: Home inspection, title insurance (Bank policy manditory, Owners polciy optional), fuel reimbursment, prepaid tax reimbursment, first year home owners insurance paid up front. 1st deposit due with offer (customary $500- 1000), 2nd deposit due at signing of P&S (customary 5% of sale)

Some optional things to think about that can help some situations: Home Warranty Policy, Buy down the interest rate,

As previously mentioned getting a utility history from the seller will help you gage a first year budget. I hope this helps.
0 votes
Kenzo Tatsuno, Agent, Waltham, MA
Tue Aug 23, 2011
Hi Joe,

The below answers explain the best way for you to figure out how to determine what you can afford. I work with Coldwell Banker and can put a team together to assist with your search. If you are an independant contractor, mortgage lenders will likely want to look at 2 years of 1099s.

Feel free to give me a call if you need my services. 617-233-9651

Thanks,
Kenzo
0 votes
Lauryn Eadie, Agent, Reston, VA
Tue Aug 23, 2011
Joe,

the best place to get these are from a reputable loan officer or mortgage broker. And the best place to find those are a reputable agent. I would suggest logging on to sites like Trulia, Zillow and Yelp and finding an agent with a healthy amount of reviews in your area. Those reviews are from buyers like you and are a great place to find an agent. That agent will be able to put you in touch with a mortgage broker or lender that you can get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) from. This combined with some area information from your agent can get you a fantastic break down of costs. From experience, I recommend that you find a lender/broker that lives and works in your area so they are familiar with county property taxes, hoa/condo fees for your area etc so that the quote is more accurate.

Best of luck
0 votes
Vesta Real E…, Agent, Holliston, MA
Tue Aug 23, 2011
I felt like many of the previous answers were very good and I figured you would be all set, but after seeing the comment from T Mack, I just felt it necessary to mention one thing...

Not finding a mortgage broker that you trust to give you accurate and important information would be a big mistake. I strongly disagree that all mortgage brokers, who we all know throughout our communities, would issue you a loan to "make you become house-poor", as T Mack described.

I am confused why a small business owner would do this to his clients, since it wouldn't result in repeat and referral business. A relatively small number of bad apples in the industry doesn't make them all fit this description.

Your question posed has to do with educating you about the different costs you may experience as a homeowner, but they would vary so much depending upon what and where you are buying. Budgeting is important as a homeowner, but it also is used as you deal with retirement, car payments, and renting a new apartment. I think this is more the foundation of your question.

Generalities about homeownership costs can best be give by the Realtor that is working closely with you to find homes that fit your goals.
Web Reference:  http://www.MAhome.com
0 votes
T Mack, , Hopkinton, MA
Tue Aug 23, 2011
Annual maintenance will run you about 2% of the purchase price. This of course is sporadic, i.e one year you have to replace the roof for 20K and then nothing major happens for a few years.

Heating an average size home in new england is 2-3K annually.

Property taxes in MA, despite prop 2.5, tend to increase at a significant rate. Even if your assessed value goes down what you actually pay goes up b/c the rate always increase. Dont forget to factor this in.

One other thing, dont listen to the bank or mortgage broker as they will issue a mortgage that will make you become house-poor.
0 votes
Joe Belliveau, Home Buyer, Boston, MA
Tue Aug 23, 2011
That is always an option , thanks so Much !
0 votes
Joe Belliveau, Home Buyer, Boston, MA
Tue Aug 23, 2011
I did already get pre approved, for an absorptive amount since my debt ratio is so low. Problem is I want to generally try and figure out going in what my monthly bills would be on top of the mortgage, which I have not found many sites which help out with this when factoring for a true cost.

Thanks so much for the info :) Greatly appreciated.
0 votes
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