What Kind of Housing Can You Afford?
Are you getting a little too big for your home? Would you rather have a bigger or better place to live? Or do you have less money to spend and would rather have a more affordable home for you and your family?
Whether you're looking to rent or own, the most important first step is determining how much house or apartment you can actually afford. You'll have to take your budget into account and be absolutely certain you won't be setting yourself up for disaster.
Let's take a look at some of the ways you can decide how much you can afford for housing!
Take a Look at Your Financial Situation
Are you still in college? Have you graduated and moved onto full-time employment? Are you building your family, or looking to settle into a new place with your spouse and children?
Any of these situations poses some very different financial concerns. And whether you intend to rent or own can also drastically reconfigure your future financial outlook.
Are you moving because you have more money than before and can find a better place to live? If so, you should focus on housing that can fit realistically into your new budget. Just because you can afford it doesn't mean you should try to go for the nicest spot you can find.
But if you've found yourself coming up short each month after paying your monthly housing costs, it's probably time to find a cheaper place to live. Many experts say housing should take less than half of your monthly budget -- and ideally around one-third. If you're paying the majority of your income to housing, you'll hardly be able to find the extra money to contribute to savings, let alone afford all your other monthly costs.
Weigh All of Your Options
Do you work in an urban area? Many people are enticed by the idea of living close to work in a big town or city.
Unfortunately, inner-city housing can have drastically higher rent or mortgage payments. In order to bring these costs down, millions of Americans young and old choose to live with roommates. Splitting the costs of an apartment, for instance, can make a 2-bedroom actually cost less than a one bedroom would on your own.
Another option to consider is living outside of city limits. Suburbs can be cheaper, but living in the Texas countryside can mean far more space to move around in at far lower costs. You may have a longer commute, but the reduced cost of housing can more than make up for the extra gas money spent each month.
However, if you're in the group of having more money to spend, you absolutely should consider moving to a more conveniently located spot nearer to your work and other amenities.
Can I Afford a House?
If you've been renting for a while, you might be thinking about buying your first house. Before you decide to become a homeowner, it's important to take a closer look at all the costs involved. For example, depending on the type of home mortgage loan you apply for, you may have to come up with as much as 20% of the house's price for a down payment. You may also need to cover the closing costs, appraisal and loan origination fees and a host of other expenses.
Once you move in, you'll have to pay the monthly mortgage, homeowners' insurance premium, property taxes, utilities (and mortgage insurance in some cases), as well as cover the expenses for maintenance and repairs. The only way to know for sure if owning will cost you more or less than renting is to add up all these costs and compare them to your current monthly rent payment (and utilities if applicable).
How Much Home Can I Afford?
With all the expenses involved, how can you be sure a house you're thinking of buying will fit your budget? A home affordability calculator is a useful tool that will give you a realistic estimate of your total costs. Fill in the requested information regarding your financial situation, and you'll be able to determine the maximum loan amount for which you're likely to qualify.
Can I Afford to Relocate?
Whether you desperately need to find a cheaper place to stay or have a wider set of options thanks to a better job or bigger paycheck, the initial costs of moving can be pretty steep. Breaking a lease or paying deposits can be quite costly, and even if you have the money for the monthly payments, you might not have the money available to relocate immediately.
That's why you should consider a small loan from a personal loan lender like Atlas Credit. With the extra boost to your finances, you can successfully relocate yourself and your family to a new spot, and pay the loan off over a 5 to 12-month period.
About Atlas Credit
At Atlas Credit, we specialize in offering loans ranging from $100 to $1,400 to people who have difficulty acquiring funds from banks, credit unions or other sources. If you have an immediate need for cash and other lenders have turned you down, we can help.
Getting a loan from us is fast and easy. You can call or visit one of our storefronts in Texas or Oklahoma, and our team will be happy to help you get the process started. You can also fill out and submit our online application. Either way, we can usually make a decision and get your funds to you the same day.