(Closed) Budgeting for a Mortgage

posted 6 years ago in Home
  • poll: Should we continue to look for condos under what we can afford, or should we splurge?
    Stick to your guns! It'll be worth it when you pay off the mortgage in half the time! : (26 votes)
    65 %
    Go ahead, splurge on this particular purchase! It's a good investment, and you'll be living in it! : (12 votes)
    30 %
    Other (please explain) : (2 votes)
    5 %
  • Post # 3
    9056 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2010

    Well, if I had a crystal ball in 2007 I would have said house-poor wasn’t such a bad idea.  We went for the condo (215,000 mortgage) thinking it would be a temporary lving arrangement.  Then the housing market tanked, and five years later, we’re still stuck living in a condo, and trying to figure out how to move ahead with family planning etc, and it’s definitely not ideal.  I guess if we’d bought something larger to begin with, we’d at least be happier being “stuck” with it.

    Post # 4
    368 posts
    Helper bee

    There are some questions you need to ask yourself.

    1. How long do you plan on staying in the home?

    If it’s less than five years don’t splurge, and don’t pay down the mortgage as quickly either. If you plan on being there at least more than five years, or even longer, you may want to splurge.

    2. Can you afford the martgage payment of the higher priced homes with condo fees?

    If the answer is no then do not buy the nicer condo. It’s not worth it to be in over your head.

    3. Would you consider buying a home that needs a little work?

    If you are planning on staying in a home it would smart to build equity in it. As long as it’s liveable you can get a great deal on the home, personalize it to your tastes, and be able to build equity at the same time.

    Post # 5
    2233 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    PPs have some excellent points. Sometimes paying down the mortgage isn’t to your advantage!

    Personally, I would rather buy a property that will be good for us 10 years down the road even if it means stretching the budget a bit. 

    Post # 6
    10572 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    We’re debating the same thing right now.  We’re planning on getting a house, but it’s whether or not we’ll have an attached garage (at least right now, we haven’t seriously started looking yet).

    It can go either way, being house poor for a little while wouldn’t be so bad.  DH only graduated a year ago, so his salary will increase beyond inflation over the next few years.  I’m in school, but will get a job soon.  What might be a slight stretch for us as soon as we buy will be a more comfortable payment later one.

    Buying a less expensive house would mean paying off the mortage that much sooner.  We’re not young, and both of us have more than 1 degree.  I just wonder if we go that route, if I will be happy in 5 years or if I’ll want to move.

    I don’t think the market will tank much here.  It might hold steady or even decrease slightly, but I would be shocked if it burst here (although it would be awesome if that happened before we buy!)

    Post # 7
    7311 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

    I’m a US gal, so my answer is based on our economic stability and still (slightly) sliding housing market. That said, we chose to buy a home that we can afford on the lower of our two incomes. That way, if one of us loses our job, we will still be able to keep current on our mortgage payments, eat, and pay the necessary bills. We’ve seen what happens when hard times hit good people, and we don’t want to lose everything. So we made the decision to be extra cautious with the financial commitments that we make. We gladly traded updates and luxury for financial security.  

    Post # 8
    13099 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I’d splurge a bit.  It sounds like your current budget is WAY below what you could actually afford (based on the fact you could pay it off so quickly).  Spending a little bit more would likely get you guys a condo that you would be happy and comfortable in for a longer time.  And it sounds like you’d still be able to make payments comfortably each month with an increased budget so you still wouldn’t be mortgage poor.

    Honestly, with as low as interest rates are right now, it isn’t necessarily the smartest choice financially to pay off a mortgage so quickly.  If you can invest your money in anything that makes more than your interest rate (which is pretty easy to do with interest rates as low as they are), you are better off investing “extra” money instead of throwing it at your mortgage.

    Post # 9
    454 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    We went on the low end of our budget at the time and that turned out to be a good idea because my husband has not been steadily working over the past year.  Anything more and I don’t know how we would have afforded our payments.

    I was always thrifty but since having this experience, I’m fully convinced that we should always stick to the low end of our budget with any big purchase.

    Post # 10
    3886 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    Definitely go on the lower end. You will be able to afford the mortgage even if the job market crashes and one or both of you find yourself unemployed, and you have greater chance for property values to go up.  A $200k condo may turn into a $350k condo in a decade or so, but a $400k condo probably won’t turn into a $700k condo in the same amount of time.

    Post # 11
    363 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    We’ve chosen to spend a little more to get a place with plenty of space that we can live in for a long time. It’s at the higher end of our budget but still well within it, and though we’ll be on a budget for the first couple of years we’ll be ok. I think it greatly depends on the stability of your jobs. We are both in jobs that aren’t going anywhere, so we aren’t too concerned about losing them. 

    Post # 13
    5662 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    There are a lot of factors at play here. I woul never advocate that anyone be house poor beause you really never hvae any idea what could happen. 

    After reading the second half of your story as well, I would say a few things. One is that we have fee’s in case of default in the US too, its Private Mortgage insurance and you have to pay it until you have 20% equity in the home. If you don’t have to pay that it would make your monthly less for sure. If you are planning to make this a permament long term home (like 10+ years or longer) then I’d say it might be ok to stretch your budget just a tad to get what you want for the long haul, and it might make more sense to pay off the mortgage sooner rather than later if its a long term purchase. it’s really hard to say but I would still say, leave yourself enough of a monthly cushion for emergencies, splurges, or whatever else is important to you. you’ll probably want furniture, need paint, etc and if those things are important to you, its hard to get them if you’re house poor. not to mention the bank ALWAYS stretches what you actually should be able to afford because then you pay them more interest – they really can’t be trusted to do your budget for you.

    Post # 14
    926 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I hate being house-poor, and would much rather spend money on interior decorating for a condo.  I’ve seen nice places that look unfinished, and kinda junky places turned fabulous.  If the location is good for you, you can do a whole lot with that extra money. 


    Post # 15
    2815 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 2012

    Are there loans in Canada that you can get where you don’t have to pay fees with less than a 20% down payment?  I’m guessing things there are quite different than the US.    We have FHA and USDA loans where we can pay as little as 0-5% down without penalty.   We close on our first house in a few weeks.  We went for the bigger house (within our budget) because we plan on staying there forever.  It has plenty of room for us to grow, have kids running around and accommodate guests.  The interest rates are so low right now, it would have been silly for us not to take advantage of them.  Do they not have fixed rate mortgages in Canada?  That way you don’t have to worry about your rates going up in a few years.   

    Post # 16
    9056 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2010

    @Jenniphyr:  In respect to interest rates rising soon, it’s still reasonable to not pay down your mortgage super fast. You’d want to invest it in something that’s either easy to liquidate or with a shorter term. Say you get a mortgage at 2.99 for five years, and can invest at a higher rate (say 3.5%) in the meantime, you’d do that and if rates are higher when you renogotiate youd liquidate and have even more to put down then. 

    The topic ‘Budgeting for a Mortgage’ is closed to new replies.

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