Harrisburg PA Homes for Sale Blog: How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA - How Much House Can You Afford?

This is a real estate blog with lots of community information, homes for sale in Harrisburg and Hershey, new construction tips, info for selling your home, and help for first time home buyers.

How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA - How Much House Can You Afford?

How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA - How Much House Can You Afford? The typical homebuyer has been browsing through properties online and driving around looking for yard signs.  This is a great start since it is important to get an idea of what you are looking for; however, when considering how to buy a house, it is even more important to know how much you can afford to spend.  Follow these steps to get a basic idea of what monthly mortgage payment will work for you: 

Stairway to an Open Door

  1. Allowable Monthly Debt Payments

Although it varies, many lenders typically prefer that when you buy a house, your monthly debt and housing costs are less than 28% of your gross monthly income.  Even if your debts are higher than 28% of your income, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a mortgage, there are financing programs that help make homeownership a reality for people from various financial backgrounds.

            $5,500    Gross Monthly Income*
        x        .28    Debt-to-income ratio
       =   $1,540   Allowable Monthly Debt Payment 

*You and your spouse’s total income before taxes and other expenses 

  1. Total Monthly Debt Expenses

When you buy a house, add together your regular monthly debt payments: car payments, student loans, required minimum credit card payment, and any others. 

            $300   Monthly Car Payment
       +   $150   Monthly Tuition Payments
       +   $90    Other Monthly Debt Payments
       =  $540   Total Monthly Debt Expenses 

  1. Maximum Mortgage Payment

Subtract your monthly debt expenses from your allowable monthly debt payment in order to find your maximum mortgage payment.

            $1,540    Allowable Monthly Debt Payment
         -   $540      Total Monthly Debt Expenses
$1,000    Maximum Mortgage Payment 

Keep in mind that when you buy a house, your maximum mortgage payment should include mortgage insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes. 

If you want to buy a house, and need to know how much you can afford, or if you have questions or need help obtaining a mortgage, please don’t hesitate to contact our loan officer at GMH Mortgage.




Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch: Your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40+ years' experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success. 

For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!


Cell: (717) 514-1793            Email: Ken@KensHomesales.com


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Comment balloon 0 commentsKen and Leslye Huebsch • February 27 2012 07:39AM