Two ratios are calculated by mortgage lenders to determine a buyer’s maximum loan amount:1) the front ratio and, 2) the back ratio.
Front Ratio: The total mortgage payment including principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI) as well as any condominium or homeowner association fees divided by your total GROSS income. Traditionally, this ratio must be below 30% Example: With a gross income of $5000 per month, a total mortgage payment (PITI) of $1350, the front ratio would be 27%.
Back Ratio: The total mortgage payment PLUS any car payments, credit card and any other loan payments including student loans divided by your total GROSS income. Traditionally this must be below 40%. Example: With a gross income of $5000 per month, a total mortgage payment of $1350, a car payment of $325, 1 credit card payment of $60 and 1 student loan payment of $150 for a total of $1885 with a back ratio of 38%.For more information or to set up an appointment call Julie at (703)765-0300.
If you need help calculating your ratios, please contact Julie Nesbitt at 703 765 0300.
When the time comes to purchase a home, there are five basic ground rules for smart shopping:
#1 – Get your financing before you get your home
Even though you may be eager to find your new home, receiving financing beforehand is important so that you do not become disappointed down the road, such as if you were to find the perfect home only to find out that you can’t receive financing for the price of the home.
Receiving financing ahead of time will allow you to know your price range and will give you credibility among listing agents because they will know you are serious about the home buying process. Knowing how much you can afford will save you from wasting time with unaffordable properties, and the listing agent will know what properties to show you within your price range.
Looking at the various types of mortgages offered is an important step in the home buying process because today’s mortgage options offer more than just simple 15 or 30 year financing. Home buyers need to talk with financing specialists to find the mortgage that will best fit their needs.
#2 – Look at the community, not just the home
Everyone knows that location is important, but this is especially important when looking for a new home. Even though you may find your perfect home, you need to look at the community as well. Being familiar with the area in which your home is situated is important for you and your family because you will want to make sure that your new community has access to things that are important to you. Things that may be important are traffic, commute time, proximity of places to shop, and access to public transportation. If you have children, you’ll want to consider the school districts, recreational activities, and general community atmosphere. If you believe you have found your perfect home, consider driving around town and through the various neighbors or talk to other residents in order to get a feel for the community.
#3 – Be fair with your first offer
Before making either a lowball offer or an offer that is over-the-top, research the local market and compare the asking prices of various homes nearby as well as homes that have sold recently to get a general idea of a fair offer. This process of comparing similar homes in the area is known in the real estate industry as “comps” and is one of the best ways to determine the fairness of an offer.
#4 – Always get a home inspection
Home inspections are a must when considering making an offer on a home. A home inspection will find possible defects before you purchase the home. You may not want to put up the money to have a home inspection, but the cost of this is negligible in comparison to the price of a home and the cost of potentially having to fix something major down the road.
As far as finding the best home inspector, ask around in the community to find someone that others speak highly of since many of the best home inspectors rely on word of mouth for advertising.
#5 – Do not alienate the sellers of the home
Personal animosity between buyer and seller has caused many real estate deals to fall apart. Examples of this would be if the seller feels alienated or if the buyer nitpicks over every detail.
A smooth real estate transaction is more likely to occur if goodwill between buyer and seller is maintained.