What would be the best way to find out how much i could afford to spend on owning a home, im 24yo and am a first time home buyer, but very interested?

Asked by Chris, 11219 Wed Jul 28, 2010

I live in Brooklyn NY, have been saving up for a few years, and have been eager to own some property. I make a decent salary and have about 70k total saved up, which would be used for down payment, closing costs and anyother fees which come with home buying. Ideally i would love to get into a 2 family so that i can rent it out and try to get some income to help with the mortage.
where is the best place to go to get a mortage pre-approval and what steps should i take prior to that to make sure my credit looks the best that it can?

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Darrell Hess, Agent, Asheville, NC
Sun Feb 17, 2013
Great question. You need two main consultants. One will be a real estate agent and the other a loan officer. Either one should know a good counterpart to work with. Call some up and interview them or ask your questions and see who you like best. The rest will be made easy as you will have a consultant by your side guiding you and helping you. If you get the sense they are trying to sell you something you don't want or that they are not a good fit for you hire someone different. You can search for professionals here on Trulia.com under the professionals tab in the search menu options.
1 vote
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Thu Jul 19, 2012
Dear Chris,

2 Words: Monthly Payment.

As long as I've been helping First Time Buyers I have zeroed in on ONE important component of the Home Buying process as a way to guide my clients: MONTHLY PAYMENT. There's something to be said about buying a home with a mortgage payment you can afford.

In the current market with economic conditions providing a disturbing sense of uncertainty, monthly payment is more important then ever. When I started out as a Mortgage Banker in 1989, 30-year Fixed rates were ranging from 11-12%! When I bought my first home in 1992, my 20-year Fixed rate was 9.625%! You could say I've seen it all when it comes to interest rates, but one constant holds true throughout my career of working with First Time Buyers: Focus on Monthly Payment and you can't go wrong.

Here are some articles from my personal mortgage advice blog about MONTHLY PAYMENT:

It's All About Monthly Payment

Use A Blanket Thats Big Enough

How To Buy A Home: Preparing To Go Out There

Good Luck,

Trevor Curran NMLS#40140
0 votes
David Rogoff…, , Brooklyn, NY
Wed Nov 17, 2010
Dear Chris:

When we were looking for a home we gathered all the information necessary to provide to our bank officer or mortgage broker.

There are many sites to determine the proper documentation but the obvious ones are 2 years of tax returns, W-2s/1099s and current pay statement. Have copies of your bank/brokerage and other assets available.

Lending officers after running credit and reviewing these documents can provide an accurate approximation of the amount your are eligible to borrow.

As an aside, be wary of firms promising to repair credit issues for potential borrowers.

Best regards,

Bonnie Chernin and Dave Rogoff
Fillmore Real Estate Br#19
2926 Avenue J
Brooklyn, NY 11210
917-593-4068 (David Mobile)
646-318-5031 (Bonnie Mobile)
0 votes
Ron Rovtar, Agent, Boulder, CO
Wed Nov 17, 2010
Check out the Freddie Mac Calculators at:


0 votes
jo, , Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Nov 17, 2010
The best way to find out what you can afford is to sit down with a MORTGAGE SPECIALIST at your local bank. They have all the details you need to answer all your questions.
0 votes
Madeline Pad…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Wed Nov 17, 2010
Hi Chris
We have already answered this question. email me directly or call me and I will give you some names
of mortgage people and once we have a preapproval and maximum you can afford we can hit the streets
to find your dream home.
0 votes
Jannine Shaw, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Nov 17, 2010
Hi Chris,

We do free pre-qualifications in my office. All you need to bring with you are your W2's from '08 and '09, social security card, 2 months worth of paystubs and your last 2 bank statements, and any other tax return forms reflecting income and investments. You sound like you are in a good postion to buy, granted you have a good credit score.
Just a bit of advice when you want to buy property with rental units. Take your time and find good tenants. I would strongly recommend that you go through a broker to help you. It doesn't cost you anything and we do all the screening, employment and credit checks. Keep in mind that you will have a tenant (people) first and income second, it is a lot of responsiblity. If anything goes wrong in the apartment and its not fixed right away, TENANTS WILL STOP PAYING THE RENT!!!! And you also have to be able to pay the mortgage in full if they do not pay..
If you would like to schedule an appointment for a free pre qualification, don't hesitate to call me at the office @ 718-692-4444.

Best Regards,

Jannine Shaw
Licensed Real Estate Professional
0 votes
Annette Levi…, , New York, NY
Sun Aug 1, 2010
The best place to get a preapproval is from a bank. As a loan officer I can go over your credit report and give you information on how to improve your score. I can also work out a budget with you so you have a mortgage payment that is comfortable to you.
0 votes
David Rogoff…, , Brooklyn, NY
Fri Jul 30, 2010

You've received some excellent advice here. We enjoy working with first time homebuyers and would be happy to help you explore your options, and even assist you if you need a referral to a mortgage banker or broker. Please feel free to call us at the numbers below.

Best regards,

David Rogoff & Bonnie Chernin
Fillmore Real Esate - Branch 19
917-593-4068 - David mobile
646-318-5031 - Bonnie mobile
0 votes
Madeline Pad…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Thu Jul 29, 2010
Hi Chris
The first step is to call me.....718332-8800 --seriously, you must first contact a mortgage person to get qualified so you know how much house/condo/coop you can afford. start with your own bank and then call a few others.

I can giveyou some names if you want them. then when we have that figure we can start looking.
0 votes
Charles D'Al…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Thu Jul 29, 2010
Find A Mortgage Pro to educate you through the process and find an experienced Realtor to work with
0 votes
Gita Bantwal, Agent, Jamison, PA
Thu Jul 29, 2010
Goto http://www.hud.gov.There are resources for buyers included hud approved lenders and housing counselors.
Web Reference:  http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes
Fajardo Dela…, Agent, Flushing, NY
Thu Jul 29, 2010

It sound like you are the right track with a few more question answered. We can set up a clear game plan.
0 votes
Jason Wilde, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, East Hanover, NJ
Thu Jul 29, 2010
I live in Brooklyn and work in NJ.. When a mortgage lender qualifies you for a mortgage they allow you to use 33% of your gross annual income for a monthly mortgage payment (PITI-principal, interest, taxes, & insurance). There are of course exceptions. Witha 70K down payment, if your credit is better than 720, you are a good candidate for a conventional loan. If it's less, FHA may be the way to go. The only way to know for sure is to talk to a bank, broker, or mortgage banker. Just work with someone you someone you feel confortable with and stay in your comfort zone. Feel free to call me if you have any questions.

Good Luck!
Jason Wilde
Mortgage Loan Originator
Pinnacle Mortgage
0 votes
Mitchell Fel…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Thu Jul 29, 2010
Dear Chris:

You need to speak to several mortgage bankers and see what they can offer you. This is also known as getting yourself pre-qualified. When you meet with the mortgage bankers, in order for them to properly pre-qualify you, you will need to show them your last two years tax returns and/or W-2 forms, recent paystubs, last three months bank statements and also have them review your credit report. This is the only way you will be able to get definitive answers.

When you go to the first bank and they run your credit report, ask them for a copy of it which you can then bring with you to the other banks so they will not have to repeatedly run your credit as this can lower your credit score if done too often.

When you meet with the banks you want to find out what type of mortgage programs they have to offer you, what type of interest rate they can give you and how much your closing costs will be. You also want to ask if there are any points attached to getting that interest rate (a point is an additional fee that is equal to 1% of the loan amount) and if you can lock in the interest rate (for how long and is there any cost)?

In the end you need to figure out what your monthly costs for the mortgage, real estate taxes and insurance will be in order to see if you are qualified. This is also known as PITI and is the number the banks use to see if you are qualified based on your income. Lets say you borrowed $300,000 with a 30 year fixed mortgage at 4.5%. Your monthly mortgage payment would be $1521.00. If you purchased a home here in Brooklyn in this type of price range your monthly real estate taxes and insurance would be about $350.00. Also, if you purchase a property and go less than 20% down you will have to pay what they call Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), this would be equal to about 0.55% of the loan amount, so if you borrowed $300.00 and had to get PMI that would add $137.50 to your monthly expenses and PITI. Hence, with PMI your monthly expenses would add up to $1,958.50. If that is within your personal budget, you can spend up to $350,000.00 for a house based on the fact that you have $70,000.00 saved up right now. Keep in mind that you will have closing costs of about 5% of the loan amount (at $300,000 your closing costs would be about $15,000.00).

In order to qualify for a loan like this you would probably have to have an income of about $60,000 per year that you report to the IRS. If you do not have this type of income of if you want your monthly payment to be lower, you would have to borrow less money. When you pre-qualify yourself with a mortgage banker you will get all the answers based on your qualifications and then you can figure out how much you can spend to purchase a home. At this point in time you would want to look at all the homes that are at or near your price range and see if any of them meet your wants and needs.

If you need further assistance please let me know. I can help you every step of the way including introducing you to good mortgage banker(s) and showing you homes. Good luck!

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665
Cellular: (917) 805-0783
Email: MitchellSFeldman@aol.com
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Jul 29, 2010
If you would like some recommendations as to loan officers, feel free to contact me directly--based on your overall financials your loan officer can best advise as to your qualification, budget, credit score, etc.,--their scoring is often different--also ask your loan officer for a mortgage pre-qualification/approval letter as you will need one when making an offer--then go from there. Keep in mind that lenders have their income v. debt criteria for qualifying for the amount of a mortgage—oftentimes requiring that housing costs are not in excess of one-third of gross income in addition to a stipulated income v. overall debt-ratio. What lenders don’t know are borrowers’ non-debt spending habits, present and anticipated. You, the borrower, need to consider the economic factors of your lifestyle that would impact on your individual comfort level of affordability. A mortgage outside your budgetary constraints can dramatically alter your overall living conditions. So, be sure to factor micro and macro economic concerns into your mortgage amount deliberations.
0 votes
Scott Miller, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Thu Jul 29, 2010
Hi Chris. Although Scott wrote below that it's best to meet with a 'local' mortgage source, this is not the case in my experience. Some of the best deals my clients have gotten on mortgages, financing, terms, conditions, are from mortgage brokers/companies outside of your immediate geographical area.

The internet has made our world much smaller. You can shop and find excellent deals for everything via the web, including mortgages that are not local.


Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Thu Jul 29, 2010
The only true way you will be able to know if you are able to get a mortgage and what program will be right for you is to meet with a local and trusted mortgage broker, they can prequailify you at no cost, they will look at your credit plus your financials and let you know if there are any programs that you may quailify for.

Please see my blog for more tips and advice on getting a mortgage
0 votes
Ralph Windsc…, Agent, Hauppauge, NY
Thu Jul 29, 2010
Congratulations! It sounds like you're real close to owning your own place! Two things you need: (1) a good mortgage broker or bank to obtain a mortgage. I have a few suggestions for people that I know are good and honest and will give you the straight story and what product(s) might be best for you. (2) you should work with a buyer's agent (which I am). With respect to your credit, you could certainly check it at one of those free credit report sites. You will get information about what your scores are at all three credit reporting agencies. The middle score or average of the three is what they will use. Obviously, the higher your credit score, the better interest rate you will get. Anything over 720 is considered very good.

With respect to buyer's agency, if you use a buyer's agent, that agent is legally able to advice you about what to offer on a particular property and devise a negotiating strategy that should save you money. If you go to the listing agents on particular properties, it is their job to get the most money out of you for their clients, the owners. I would be pleased to meet with your to discuss your needs. Good luck!

Ralph Windschuh
Associate Broker
Certified Buyer Representative
Senior Real Estate Specialist
Century 21 Princeton Properties
Top 2% of Century 21 agents nationwide!
0 votes
Scott Miller, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Thu Jul 29, 2010
Hi Chris. Sounds to me like you're ready. There are lots of changes in financing from the past few years because of the RE crisis. Here's the contact info for someone I recommend that lends all over the US. Email him or give him a call to see how easy it is to get pre-approved:

Matt T. Weaver
Sr.Mortgage Banker
WCS Lending, LLC
Ph: 561.864.2458
Cell:561.212.6503 7 Days 8am-9pm
Fx: 561.864.2858
NMLS ID #175651


Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Thu Jul 29, 2010
You need to speak with a mortgage broker or mortgage banker.

Contact me offline at Gail@GailGladstone.com and I will be happy to refer you to someone who can run the numbers for you and help you position yourself to attain your dream.

Web Reference:  http://GailGladstone.com
0 votes
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