Common Questions for Buyers

Best Home for You and Your Family

To Downsize?

To Upsize?

Buyer Agency Agreement

Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Protect Your Biggest Purchase

Accredited Buyer Representatives

For Sale By Owner

What To Offer

Home Inspections

Title Insurance

Home Warranty

Homeowner's Insurance

Living Well and Stress-Free

Consumer Household Safety

Energy Saving Tips

Buying a Foreclosure

Buying a Short Sale


Common Questions for Sellers

22 Questions Questions To Ask

Am I Priced To Sell

Determining Market Value

How Long To Sell My Home

Hiring a Real Estate Appraiser

Certified Residential Specialists

Facing a Short Sale

Facing Foreclosure


Mortgage Information

Getting That Perfect Mortgage

Get Pre Approved

How Much Do I Qualify For?

Avoiding Irresponsible Lending

Managing Home Equity Lines of Credit

Home Improvements

Value of Home Improvements


Staging Your Home for Sale

Staging Your Kitchen for Sale

Staging Your Living Room for Sale


Preparing to Move

Planning Your Move

Hiring a Moving Company

Moving with Children

Self-Moving Advice and Tips

How Much Do I Qualify For?

When buying a home, it is helpful to determine the type of home you'll like and how much you can afford before beginning your search. Most lenders allocate approximately 28% of your GROSS MONTHLY INCOME to housing expense. Housing expense includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI). To get an idea of how much you can afford to pay each month for a home, multiply your gross monthly income by 28%.

When coupled with current outstanding loans, the total for your debt service should not exceed 36% of your gross monthly income. Some lenders may have slightly more liberal requirements or loan interest rates which may increase your purchasing power.

Mortgage interest, property taxes, loan fees or "points" are currently tax deductible (up to allowable limits). Points are generally deductible in the year paid. A point equals 1% of the mortgage amount. If you are in the 28% tax bracket, this is equivalent to receiving a 28% discount on your mortgage interest and property taxes. During the first years of the mortgage your tax savings are especially high because most of your monthly payment goes toward loan interest.