11 Steps to Buying a Phoenix Home Series-Budget and DTI

The Phoenix home buying planning process means time to budget

Phoenix home buying seriesIt is time to finally track your spending and put pen to paper an itemized list of where you spend money each month and how much. The goal here is to see how much Phoenix home you can afford within your budget.  The good thing is right now in Phoenix-Metro area you can own for less per month that what you can rent in many areas so your living expenses might actually go down once you buy!

Accurate figures are important to the Phoenix home buying planning process

Start with making a list of all your expenses such as utilities and living expenses such as electricity and groceries, then all monthly expenses such as credit card bills, car insurance and yes add your entertainment, clothes, etc. as well. If you spend $40/week on movies and you want to continue to spend $40/week on movies than include it, otherwise remove or lower it to something you feel is reasonable and then follow that. You may be surprised to find out how much money you spend on certain things that with a few minor changes here and there you can drastically reduce your overall monthly expenditures. After you total everything and subtract it from your income you will have a figure. From that figure take a certain percentage off the top to add to your savings accounts and/or retirement plan, etc and the final figure leftover (assuming you already accounted for miscellaneous disposable income in your list) is what you can afford as a mortgage payment with/without any lifestyle changes while growing your savings.

Lenders consider Debt-to-income (DTI) ratios during the Phoenix home buying pre-qualification process

The above budget is mainly for your purposes so you can determine during the Phoenix home buying process your comfort level with the money in and money out every month and also help identify spending habits that can be modified to help strengthen your overall financials. Lenders will take your debt such as current mortgage/rent, credit cards, car payments and compare it to your income (aka DTI or debt-to-income ratio). The qualifying ratio will vary by loan program and FICO score but for our example we will use FHA which is 41%.

Lets consider a quick scenario in determining DTI for a Phoenix home buying loan applicant;

Your Monthly payment on mortgage/rent = 1200
Minimum Monthly Credit Card Payments = 300
Monthly Car Loan Payments = 450
Other Loan payment = 300

Thus, your total monthly debt payment = $2250

Now, let’s consider your Gross Annual Salary = $75000
So, gross monthly salary = $6250
Other monthly income = $1000
Thus, your gross monthly income = $7250

So, mortgage debt to income ratio = (monthly debt payment)/(gross monthly income)
= ($2250/$7250)  = .310 or 31% which is well within the standard DTI ratio.

Hopefully now you have a good idea of how much you can comfortable afford every month, what changes to you budget need to be made if any and if your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is in-line with qualifying. If not you may have to pay off some debt to get your ratio where it needs to be as part of the Phoenix home buying process.

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