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Not Knowing Your Housing Budget

 

Figure out exactly how much you can afford to pay each month in shelter costs.

 

Be sure to include:

 

  • Mortgage payments (including interest – and PMI if applicable)
  • Property tax
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance costs
  • Homeowner association fees

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Your total monthly housing costs should not exceed 30% of your monthly take-home pay.

 

Looking Outside Your Housing Budget

 

Don’t even look at houses that fall beyond your budget. It’ll only set you up for disappointment.

 

Purchasing Based on Future Changes

 

Never make a financial decision based on projected future income. Instead, base your decision on what you can afford now.

 

Treating Your Home as an Investment

 

First-time buyers often anticipate selling their house for a large profit in five or 10 years. Real estate is never a certain investment, and a house should not be purchased with the sole intention of earning a profit.

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