Affordability Calculator

Use our calculator to get a quick estimate of how much house you can afford to buy.

How to Use an Affordability Calculator

Embarking on your journey to homeownership can be thrilling but also a bit daunting. One of the main hurdles for potential homeowners is understanding just how much house they can afford. What if there was an easy way to figure this out? That’s where the home affordability calculator, often referred to as a mortgage affordability calculator, comes in handy. But how do you use this tool? Today, we’ll guide you through using it and deciphering the results.

What is a mortgage affordability calculator?

A mortgage affordability calculator is an invaluable tool for prospective homeowners. It’s an online calculator designed to help you understand how much house you can afford based on your income, down payment, monthly debts, and mortgage terms. Using this calculator, you can avoid the financial stress of buying a home beyond your means, instead confidently focusing on properties within your budget.

How can I use the mortgage affordability calculator?

Using the mortgage affordability calculator is straightforward. You input specific information, and it crunches the numbers to estimate the maximum home price you can afford.

  • Firstly, you’ll need to input your annual income. This figure should include all reliable sources such as salary, investments, or rentals.
  • Next, input your monthly debt. This includes things like car payments, student loans, and credit card bills.
  • Your expected down payment and interest rate are the next pieces of information required.
  • Finally, select your preferred loan term, usually 15 or 30 years, and the calculator will do the rest.

After clicking the ‘calculate’ button, you’ll receive an estimate of what you can afford to spend on a home.

What does the ‘How much house can I afford calculator’ tell me?

The ‘How much house can I afford calculator,’ another name for the mortgage affordability calculator, provides you with a clear-cut estimate of the home price within your financial capacity. The result is based on your gross income, monthly debts, down payment, and the selected loan term and interest rate.

Beyond the home price, it also estimates the maximum mortgage you could get and your monthly mortgage payments, including principal and interest. This comprehensive information empowers you to make an informed decision about homeownership.

How reliable is the house affordability calculator?

A house affordability calculator, though an excellent tool, is only as reliable as the information you input. It’s essential to remember that it’s only an estimate and doesn’t account for unpredictable changes in your financial circumstances or the real estate market. Hence, while it gives you a rough guide, it’s wise to consider other factors, like future income potential and lifestyle changes, and consult with a financial advisor for personalized advice.

How can I improve my affordability?

Several strategies can help improve your affordability according to the calculator:

  1. Reduce your monthly debts:  Lowering your debt-to-income ratio increases how much house you can afford.
  2.  Decrease your down payment and use the savings to pay off consumer debts:  This is related to the above suggestion, and it is something we often encourage borrowers to do.  Eliminating short-term debts in exchange for a larger mortgage with a longer-term payoff can significantly improve affordability.
  3. Increase your down payment:  More significant down payments decrease the loan amount and, thus, your monthly mortgage payments.
  4. Improve your credit score:  A higher credit score often translates to lower interest rates. We have tools at JVM Lending to help with this process.

Using a mortgage affordability calculator effectively takes you one step closer to owning your dream home, ensuring that it’s a financial fit. Remember, owning a home isn’t just about what you can afford now, but what you can comfortably sustain in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can the mortgage affordability calculator take into account property taxes and insurance?

While most mortgage affordability calculators do not allow you to account for these costs, JVM Lending’s most definitely does.  But, you have to click on the “advanced” prompt within our calculator.  You also need to know your property tax rate and your estimated insurance rates.  If you are confused about any of this, we encourage you to reach out to one of our skilled Client Advisors and they will be more than happy to walk you through the entire process.

Q2: How often should I use the mortgage affordability calculator?

You should use the calculator whenever your financial circumstances change or when interest rates change by 1/4 percent or more. For example, if you get a raise, pay off a significant debt, or decide to put more money toward your down payment, re-calculating will provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Q3: I’m a first-time homebuyer, can I rely solely on the mortgage affordability calculator to make my home-buying decisions?

While the calculator is a handy tool for first-time homebuyers, it should not be the sole basis for your decision. Other factors, like the strength of the housing market, your personal needs, the level of interest rates, your future financial stability, and your lifestyle should also play a role. Consulting with a financial advisor or one of JVM Lending’s Client Advisors could provide more personalized advice.

Q4: Does the affordability calculator consider all types of income?

Most calculators require you to input your gross annual income – before taxes are withheld. This can include full-time wages, part-time earnings, freelance or consulting fees, and even income from investments or rentals. As long as it’s a reliable source of income, it can be included. If you are self-employed, coming up with an accurate income figure can be more difficult and you might want to consult one of JVM Lending’s Client Advisors for assistance.

Q5: Can the affordability calculator help me if I have a poor credit score?

Yes, it can. The calculator can show you how much house you can afford with your current credit score. However, it’s important to remember that a low credit score can significantly increase your interest rate. Improving your credit score can make homeownership more affordable.

Understanding how to calculate mortgage affordability using a home affordability calculator is key to a smooth and successful home-buying process. With this tool, you’re able to find a house that not only feels like home but also keeps your financial health in check.

Next Steps

You can get started on your mortgage pre-approval here or contact JVM Lending at (855) 855-4491 for personalized assistance.


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