How Much Mortgage Can You Afford for a Santa Cruz Condo?

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 7:13am.

If you’re thinking of buying a Santa Cruz condo, then you’re probably looking forward to the convenience of condo life.  Freedom from landscaping chores and home maintenance tasks is just ahead.  But, first you must determine how much condo you can afford to buy.

Before you do anything else, make a detailed list of your finances.  You’ll need to factor in all your income, and list all your normal monthly debts.  Make a separate section for things you don’t want to do without, but can if it's required.  These are the first things that are eliminated when looking to save money in your budget.

Next make a budget for your household.  Remember to include extras like going out to eat.  A good budget will have all of these elements:

• Fixed expenses.  These include food, clothing, housing costs, car payment, even taxes that are regularly billed are included in this category.

• Retirement.  At least 10% of your income should go into a retirement account.

• Savings.  This is any money that has been put aside for big purchases, to pay off debts, or for home repairs.  Your savings budget should be 20% of your income.

• Miscellaneous.  You should put 10% away to cover entertainment expenses.  Going out to dinner and a movie would come out of this section.

Most finance experts will recommend that you don’t spend more than twenty-eight percent of your income on housing costs.  Still, some lenders may offer loan packages that are more than what you have budgeted to spend.  No matter how great that Santa Cruz condo deal sounds, you need to stick to your budget.

Once you know how much you can afford to pay for your Santa Cruz condo, you can shop around for the best mortgage rates and loan terms for your personal situation.  With careful planning, you can avoid making a mortgage mistake, and getting more house than you can afford. 

Need more help determining how much mortgage you can afford?  Give me a call today at 831.662.6522 or email me at lauren@laurenspencer.com and I'll give you my professional advice.

 

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About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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