When it comes to buying a house for the first time, it's important to know how much money you need to save for a down payment. Generally, it's recommended to save at least 20%, but it's also possible to make a smaller down payment of 5-10%. However, this will require you to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). It's important to make sure that your monthly payments don't exceed 25% of your monthly net salary on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. Additionally, it's best to avoid expensive loans such as those from the FHA, VA, and USDA.
Before you start budgeting for a home, it's important to take care of any credit card debt, retirement account contributions, and emergency funds. There are government-insured programs such as the FHA, VA, and USDA that make it easier to buy a home with little or no down payment. However, there are other expenses that mortgage insurers don't consider when approving a loan. These include closing costs and prepayments, moving expenses, furniture, repairs, storage, and other costs associated with moving into your new home.
When you're ready to start saving for a home, it's important to do some math to determine how much you can afford. Your lender will set a limit on how much they're willing to lend you and then you can decide how much you need to save for a down payment. With certain loan programs such as those from the USDA or VA, you can even buy a home with no down payment. However, if you make a down payment of less than 20%, you'll likely have to pay mortgage insurance.
It's also important to consider your credit score when buying a house. A higher score may mean you have to pay a lower interest rate which could allow you to buy more homes for your money. Additionally, there are down payment assistance programs available in some states that can help first-time homebuyers save money.
Overall, when budgeting for a home it's important to consider more than just the sale price. You'll need to factor in closing costs and prepayments, moving expenses, furniture, repairs, storage, and other costs associated with moving into your new home. Additionally, it's important to have an emergency fund and pay off any credit card debt before buying a house.