Most future homeowners can afford to mortgage a property even if it costs between 2 and 2.5 times the gross of their income. Under this particular formula, a person that is earning $200,000 each year can afford a mortgage up to $500,000.
In the end, when making the decision to acquire a property, the borrower needs to consider various factors. First, the borrower should know what the lender believes the borrower can afford and what size of a mortgage the lender is willing to give. Formulas are used to get an idea as to what size mortgage a client can handle. More importantly, the borrower should evaluate finances and preferences when making the decision. Knowing the mortgage size that can be handled also helps the borrow narrow down the playing field so that precious time is not wasted in touring homes that are out of the price range.
There are two DTI ratios that lenders consider when determining how much money a person can borrow for a mortgage. In this, it is good to know what factors lenders consider when determining how much money to lend. A strong downpayment can also help homebuyers qualify for a better rate.
Front End Ratio
The percentage of yearly gross income that is dedicated to making the mortgage each month is called the Front-end Ratio. Four components make up the mortgage payment, which are: interest, principal, insurance, and taxes. A general rule is that these items should not exceed 28% of the borrower’s gross income. However, some lenders allow the borrower to exceed 30% and some even allow 40%.
Back End Ratio
The debt-to-income ratio, which is also called the “Back-End Ratio” figures what percentage of income is required to cover debts. The mortgage is included in these debts as are child support, car payments, other loans, and credit cards. The debt-to-income ratio should not exceed 36% of the gross income. How monthly debt is calculated is that the gross income is multiplied by 0.36 and then divided by 12. In areas that have higher home prices, it is rather hard to stay within 36%, so there are lenders that allow the debt-to-income ratio to go as high as 45%. A higher ratio, however, can increase the interest rate, so a less expensive home may be the better choice. It is important for the borrower to try to lower debt as much as possible before seeking a mortgage. This helps to lower the debt-to-income ratio.
Most lenders ideally like to see a down payment of around 20% of the price of the home. Putting 20% down on your home eliminates the need for private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirements, though may lenders allow buyers to purchase their home with smaller down payments. The average homeowner puts about 10% down when they buy. The down payment also has an impact on the monthly mortgage payment and on the front-end and back-end of the loan. More expensive homes can be purchased with larger down payments. Buyers with limited savings who think it would take a long time to reach a large downpayment savings goal may consider looking into government sponsored housing programs requiring little or no downpayment.
DTI limits vary by loan type.
|Loan Type||Front End Limit||Back End Limit|
|FHA||many lenders require 31% or below; can't get approved via Automated Underwriting System if above 46.9%||43% with FICO below 620; borrowers with FICO above 620 can exceed 50% up to 56.9% with compensating factors; many lenders may have tighter standards|
|VA||N/A||lender benchmark of 41%; varries by lender|
|USDA||29% to 32%, higher with compensating factors||41%, or 44% with a PITI below 32%|
On June 22, 2020 the CFPB announced they were taking steps to address GSE patches which could see the DTI ratio removed as a requirement for qualifying mortgages. They would instead rely on loan pricing information as the basis for qualification.
“The Bureau proposes to amend the General QM definition in Regulation Z to replace the DTI limit with a price-based approach. The Bureau is proposing a price-based approach because it preliminarily concludes that a loan’s price, as measured by comparing a loan’s annual percentage rate to the average prime offer rate for a comparable transaction, is a strong indicator and more holistic and flexible measure of a consumer’s ability to repay than DTI alone.
For eligibility for QM status under the General QM definition, the Bureau is proposing a price threshold for most loans as well as higher price thresholds for smaller loans, which is particularly important for manufactured housing and for minority consumers. The NPRM also proposes that lenders take into account a consumer’s income, debt, and DTI ratio or residual income and verify the consumer’s income and debts.”
The borrower should consider personal criteria when purchasing a home in addition to the criteria of the bank when determining what kind of mortgage can be afforded. Although someone may be approved for a certain mortgage amount, that certainly does not mean the payments can be covered. The following is personal criteria to take into account along with the criteria of the lenders:
Before agreeing to a particular loan, ensure you shop around to find the best rate, as small differences in interest rates can lead to thousands of dollars of savings over the life of a loan. The following interactive table highlights current mortgage rates.
When figuring out how much of a payment one can afford, there are other expenses that must be considered aside from the mortgage. These addition financial obligations can be:
US 10-year Treasury rates have recently fallen to all-time record lows due to the spread of coronavirus driving a risk off sentiment, with other financial rates falling in tandem. Homeowners who buy or refinance at today's low rates may benefit from recent rate volatility.
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