When buying a home, the golden rule you should follow is that you should purchase a house you can afford. Different factors determine the affordability of the property. You need to know many things before you buy your home. Here are expert-approved tips for creating a monthly budget to fit your mortgage payments.

Buy Property You Can Afford

If you are a first-time homebuyer, you must consider the size and condition of the property to determine its affordability. Large is not always the best solution since its heating and cooling requirements can break your budget. The other thing you should know is that a big house comes with more repair and maintenance costs. Therefore, it is a good idea to start with something manageable and upgrade later. Be sure to be realistic about what you can handle from the onset. 

Use a Mortgage Calculator

A mortgage payment is the most significant cost that comes with any type of property investment. You need to calculate your payments for principal and interest mortgage. The best method you can consider for calculating mortgage repayments is to use a mortgage calculator. This technique will help you see the interest and total payments you should make to pay off your mortgage loan. 

You can use the mortgage calculator to determine the interest rate that your bank will charge you, the length of your loan, for example, 20 years, and the frequency of making payments like weekly or monthly. The total amount of your mortgage will determine the effects of mortgage repayments. Your mortgage calculator should give you the following details. 

  • Your repayment amount 
  • The total value of repayments
  • The total value of interest costs
  • Interest payments as a percentage
  • Principal payments as a percentage

You should be interested in your monthly mortgage repayment more than anything else. 

Understand Your Income and Expenses

When you create your monthly budget, the first thing is to know your monthly income. You must consider the money that comes into your account from different sources, including paystubs, revenue from side hustles, or credit card cashback. The total amount you get is your net income, and it should determine your budget. The 28% percent rule is one of the easiest methods you can use to calculate your homebuying budget. This rule states that your mortgage should not be more than 28% of your monthly gross income. 

If you have other debts, you need to add them to the mortgage payment to determine the total amount you can pay. This is known as the debt-to-income ratio, and many lenders consider it to check if you can repay your loan. For instance, if you have a gross monthly income of $6,000 and you have monthly financial obligations of $2,000, it means your debt-to-income ratio will be 33%. This might be larger than what a normal ratio should be. 

Choose an Appropriate Budget Plan

You must choose an appropriate budget plan to ensure you meet your mortgage monthly payment options and other daily needs. For instance, you can use the traditional envelope budgeting system that allows you to physically divide your monthly income toward different expenses. However, people have adopted digital budgeting methods including the use of different apps, spreadsheets, and other techniques. Alternatively, you can consider the option of automating your savings. Part of your monthly income will automatically go to your savings account, and this method is effortless but very effective. However, you need to revisit your budget to ensure that it suits your needs since your income, priorities, and expenses will change over time. Therefore, if you find yourself struggling to stick to your original plan, you must adjust your budget accordingly. 

Consider Homeowning Expenses

Homeownership comes with several expenses you should consider before you sign the agreement. Remember that a mortgage is not the only payment you should anticipate since owning a house consists of other ongoing expenses like home insurance, repairs, utilities, and maintenance costs. Maintenance alone involves different tasks like shoveling snow, clearing the yard, and cutting the lawn. You also need to consider property tax. These expenses can significantly add to your monthly mortgage payments which will affect your budget somehow. 

Owning a home is everyone’s dream, but there is a danger that it can turn into a nightmare if you fail to properly calculate your purchase. If you are a first-time homebuyer, remember you may have a lot of wants that can affect your budget. Make sure you purchase an affordable house and consider different factors that can affect your monthly mortgage payments.