General Question

mollye's avatar

Minimum salary to buy a house and not get laughed at by the bank?

Asked by mollye (36points) April 21st, 2008

I know it depends on area/how much you want to spend/how your credit stands/etc. BUT! I know there are great programs out there for first-time buyers and at 24 I work part time (a LOT) and probably only make 15,000 a year. I have great credit though since 1999, and some money in savings for a downpayment, that kind of thing.

I just want a tiny condo, because rent is just a heartbreaker. I realize it may not be time yet though.

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7 Answers

cheebdragon's avatar

they might laugh if you just make minimum wage, who cares if they laugh at you anyway? They work at a bank, they are not millionaires.

ironhiway's avatar

You need between 28% – 42% of your gross income to meet the principal interest and tax payment. In your case 350 – 525 per month. This qualifying amount is reduced by any credit payments your paying. (Car loan or credit cards). You also will probably need 20% down to get the higher ratio of 42%.

There are programs that may assist you in achieving your goal. There may be people who laugh at you. Or tell you that what you want to do cant be done. Keep your spirits high and keep asking until you find one of those quality people who can show you the path to home ownership.

You also might look for a place you can lease with an option to buy.

Seesul's avatar

In our area, we have what is known as BMR or below market rate housing. Very nice housing that you have to qualify for, and then enter a lottery. The taxes are based on the purchase price and the home must be kept for 20 before you can resell it at full value. Check to see if there is anything like that available in your area and go for it. It’s nice to see someone as young as you are thinking the way that you do.

evanandersbrother's avatar

Here are a few things the lenders will consider (aside from how much you make at your current job):

1) Capital – this is the amount of money you have on hand (for down payments, closing costs, etc). Sounds like you have a little bit of that stashed away…

2) Capacity – this is your ability to repay monthly loan payments. Lenders will use a ratio to figure out what your monthly take-home income is after any other debts you may pay out each month (like rotating credit card bills, student loans, car payments, etc).

3) Credit History – you already know about this, it sounds like.

The general rule I’ve heard is that you shouldn’t spend more on a house than 2.5 to 3 times your annual income. Of course, this is probably flexible depending on the other variables I mentioned, like how much of a down payment you can afford or how much outstanding debt you have…

I suggest taking a home buying class through a local non-profit. I took a class in Portland, Oregon through the Portland Housing Center, which was awesome. They used a great textbook that’s published by “NeighborWorks America.” Might be available where you live.

Also might want to check into land trusts. They’re a good option for folks below a certain income level.

Good luck!

MisterBlueSky85's avatar

My best advice is to seek a professional about this and not just some random people on the interwebs. They’ll help you much more than any of us could. Maybe a friend could help you out for free.

hairypalm's avatar

wing it. I agree with sky58

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