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More Calculators

  • Mortgage Calculator

    What will your new home cost? Estimate your monthly mortgage payment with our easy-to-use mortgage calculator.

  • Amortization Calculator

    Estimate how much will be paid each month for principal and interest over the life of the loan with our amortization calculator.

  • Debt-to-Income Calculator

    Your debt-to-income ratio helps determine if you would qualify for a mortgage. Use our DTI calculator to see if you're in the right range.

  • Refinance Calculator

    Interested in refinancing your existing mortgage? Use our refinance calculator to see if refinancing makes sense for you.

Affordability Calculator Help

Our home affordability payments calculator can help you estimate what you can afford to spend on your new home. Here’s the info you’ll need to enter into the affordability calculator:

  • Annual Income

    Enter your (and your co-borrower's) annual income before taxes. Or click "Calculate by payment" to enter what you want to spend every month.

  • Monthly Debts

    Enter the monthly amount you pay for debts like car payments or student loans. Do not include rent or mortgage payments, or credit cards that you pay in full.

  • Down Payment

    Most home loans require a down payment of at least 3%. A higher down payment can lower your monthly payment and increase your affordability.

  • Debt-to-Income

    Typically, your DTI should be 36% or lower to qualify for a mortgage. Certain loans allow for higher DTIs, such as FHA loans (43%) and VA or USDA loans (41%).

  • Interest Rate

    This is pre-filled with the current average mortgage rate. Your actual rate will vary based on factors like credit score and down payment.

  • Loan Term

    The calculator automatically assumes a 30-year (360 month) term, which is the most common term. You can edit your loan term in the calculator's advanced options.

  • Property Tax

    The amount you pay for property taxes can affect your affordability. The affordability calculator includes estimated amount, but you can edit it in the advanced options.

  • Home Insurance

    Home insurance or homeowners insurance is typically required by lenders. You can edit this number in the affordability calculator advanced options.

  • HOA Dues

    Any HOA dues you pay each month can affect your affordability. You can edit this number in the affordability calculator advanced options.

How Much Home Can I Really Afford?

An affordability calculator is a great first step to estimate how much home you can afford. But here are some other things to consider when figuring out your home shopping budget.

The 28/36 Rule for Affordability

One rule of thumb that lenders may use to assess how much of a mortgage you qualify for is the 28/36 rule. This rule says that your mortgage payment (which includes property taxes and homeowners insurance) should be no more than 28% of your pre-tax income, and your total debt (including your mortgage and other debts such as car or student loan payments) should be no more than 36% of your pre-tax income. While these numbers are used as a guide by many lenders, there are some cases where you may be able to have a higher. For example, some lenders may allow borrowers with a higher credit score to have slightly higher DTI ratios. And some loans allow for higher DTIs, such as FHA loans, which allow up to 43% or higher in some cases.

Getting Pre-Qualified

Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage is an important step in determining how much home you can afford. During this process, a lender will assess your finances to determine how much they are willing to lend you. This number can help you shop within your means, but remember that just because you qualify for a specific amount doesn't necessarily mean you can afford it. The pre-qualification process typically takes your income and debts into account, but it doesn't include your personal savings goals or spending habits. A lender's assessment is important, but ultimately you have the final say in what you're comfortable spending on your next home.

More Factors that Affect Your Affordability

Income, debts and down payment are big factors when it comes to calculating your affordability. But there are other factors to be aware of, too. Believe it or not, the interest rate you get could make a big difference in how much home you can afford because a lower interest rate could significantly lower your monthly mortgage payment. Your personal savings goals or spending habits can also make a big impact on your affordability, so remember to consider these when setting your home shopping budget.