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Old 09-18-2009, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17,032 posts, read 26,035,119 times
Reputation: 16166

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A rule of thumb I use is 3x your salary is about what you can afford.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Houston area
1,408 posts, read 3,478,873 times
Reputation: 635
This thread is old. But it's amazing how some people look for houses way out of their price range. And the sad thing is they are serious about it.

At least the original poster was asking for advice. But I've worked with a couple who made 50-60k and where serious about looking for a 250-300k home. When I tried to be the voice of reason, they got bothered. No way where they going to buy a 150k home!

I never really spoke to them afterward because they where set on their ways and didn't allow me to help with the numbers.
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
17,032 posts, read 26,035,119 times
Reputation: 16166
I agree, I know some folks here in the same boat. If their peers own a house in a certain location then they try to as well. The keeping up with the Jones' is a pretty strong influencer. I just triple my salary to see my affordability, then look for possible neighborhoods. Much easier than the other way around.
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:35 AM
 
144 posts, read 519,569 times
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Get pre approved first and a good mortgage agent will let you know how much your approved for. I just got approved, and have perfect credit, and make 100K a year and I was surprised how little I got approved for.
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Old 12-30-2009, 11:50 AM
 
101 posts, read 347,807 times
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Haven't been on in awhile. But I read all your responses and would like to thank you all. Me and the lady are in the process of saving up for a down payment now. We plan to get a house in about 3 years. We have really thought things over and we decided that you guys are right about us getting a 300k house. We decided we are going to get a house in the 150-200k range in the Cinco Ranch SW or Seven Meadows area. We plan on putting a 20% downpayment on the house. Hopefully we can find a foreclosed one or a used house in the area. We understand that this will be our starter home and like you guys said to start small and work our way up.

About how much would property tax cost on a 200k house in the Cinco SW/Seven Meadows area? I know HOA is about $850, also how much will home insurance cost?

Do you guys suggest the 15 yr fixed or 30 yr fixed loan?
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:24 PM
 
235 posts, read 688,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parisby View Post
Haven't been on in awhile. But I read all your responses and would like to thank you all. Me and the lady are in the process of saving up for a down payment now. We plan to get a house in about 3 years. We have really thought things over and we decided that you guys are right about us getting a 300k house. We decided we are going to get a house in the 150-200k range in the Cinco Ranch SW or Seven Meadows area. We plan on putting a 20% downpayment on the house. Hopefully we can find a foreclosed one or a used house in the area. We understand that this will be our starter home and like you guys said to start small and work our way up.

About how much would property tax cost on a 200k house in the Cinco SW/Seven Meadows area? I know HOA is about $850, also how much will home insurance cost?

Do you guys suggest the 15 yr fixed or 30 yr fixed loan?
Tax varies by neighborhood but a quick rule of thumb is about 3%. You can easily find out how much though by going to hcad.org and typing in the address.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:30 PM
 
1,592 posts, read 2,854,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parisby View Post
...

About how much would property tax cost on a 200k house in the Cinco SW/Seven Meadows area? I know HOA is about $850, also how much will home insurance cost?

Do you guys suggest the 15 yr fixed or 30 yr fixed loan?
While a 15-year loan has the advantage of being paid off sooner, it locks you into higher payments per month. With a 30-year loan, you can always pay MORE toward the principle if you wish, and pay it off sooner, but if you can't, you don't have to. It allows you more flexibility.
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Houston area
1,408 posts, read 3,478,873 times
Reputation: 635
Quote:
Originally Posted by parisby View Post
Haven't been on in awhile. But I read all your responses and would like to thank you all. Me and the lady are in the process of saving up for a down payment now. We plan to get a house in about 3 years. We have really thought things over and we decided that you guys are right about us getting a 300k house. We decided we are going to get a house in the 150-200k range in the Cinco Ranch SW or Seven Meadows area. We plan on putting a 20% downpayment on the house. Hopefully we can find a foreclosed one or a used house in the area. We understand that this will be our starter home and like you guys said to start small and work our way up.

About how much would property tax cost on a 200k house in the Cinco SW/Seven Meadows area? I know HOA is about $850, also how much will home insurance cost?

Do you guys suggest the 15 yr fixed or 30 yr fixed loan?
If you can do it, 15 years is a smart move. It does tie up a lot of your finances though. And won't allow you to get approved for as big of a home as you want to. The higher monthly payment will make your purchasing power much lower. If you are approved for 200k at 30 years, that will probably drop to 125k-150k at 15 years.

We have our home financed at 15 years and although we could of purchased a much bigger home, we rather pay the home down faster.

Depending on the exact tax rate, expect taxes on a 200k home in Cinco to run you between 6k-7k a year.

BTW: 20% is a very smart move!
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:40 PM
 
1,667 posts, read 2,866,594 times
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You guys would actually qualify for the city of Houston downpayment assistance program. The max income limit for a family of 2 is $61,275. The program will give you $19,500 towards the purchase of your home. The home will have to be in the city limits of Houston however. Not sure if that interests you, but a lot of people don't even know the program exists.
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:56 PM
 
Location: The Greater Houston Metro Area
8,955 posts, read 14,097,945 times
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I understand liking Seven Meadows and Cinco - but they rarely have a foreclosure and are over $200K. Really, start at a $140K home and move up in a few years. Very few people get their iedeal home right from the start. You are leaving no room for any emergencies, etc. You need to get a home - not a soon-to-be-a-foreclosure, which will put a serious obstacle in the way of getting another one later.
An alternative to getting a 15 year mortgage - send in a little extra marked "additional principle" every time you make a payment on a 30 year loan. If you make the equivalent of an additional month every year - you will shave off about 7 years. Your interest rate won't be quite as low (not that much difference, though) as a 15 year - but you are leaving flexibility there for you to decide when to pay extra.
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