Tips for Finding a Home in Your Budget

by HJI Author

Buying a new home is an exciting prospect. In your mind, your new digs have spa-like bathrooms, a chef-grade kitchen, and fabulous walk-in closets. But, your actual budget might not match your expectations—and that’s okay. When home shopping, you’ll learn how to make compromises so you don’t break the bank. You can still find your dream house and stay within your budget. 

Finding a Home in Your Budget

First things first: what can you and your family actually afford? Add up your monthly income, taking into account any extra income you might receive. Make sure you’re taking your post-tax, take home salary. Then, list out all your expenses, from current housing payments to gas to cell phone bills. Even include things like your Netflix subscription and gym membership. Now you’ve got an idea of how much money you have to put into a monthly mortgage.

Use an online mortgage calculator to see how much a potential monthly payment would be. These calculators take into account your down payment, taxes, and interest rate. Make sure to also get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start home shopping so you know exactly how much a lender will loan you. This will ultimately help you in your process of finding a home in your budget.

Getting a great home within your price range

Start by listing exactly what you want in a house. Then, take that list and narrow it down to “musts.” Write another with the “should-haves.” Those “should-haves” are nice bonuses, but you shouldn’t base your entire purchase on them. For example, you may want an in-ground pool but, in reality, you need four bedrooms to accommodate the kids.

Other should-haves might include:

  • Granite and stainless-steel appliances
  • A guest bedroom or office
  • Hardwood floors
  • High-end bathrooms
  • Large amount of square footage

Musts-haves might be more along the lines of sound structure, newer roof, and updated kitchen and bathrooms (but not necessarily high-end).

Here are some more compromises you can make:

  • Consider buying a fixer-upper (or at least a home that needs a little work)
  • Purchase an older home instead of a newer one
  • Choose an area a little out of your dream location
  • Widen your search to include condos and town homes
  • Pick a “starter” home if it’s your first home buying experience—you can always upgrade later
  • Purchase a home in a transitional neighborhood

Search for a beautiful home in Sarasota

Lee Brewer is an expert in buying and selling homes in Sarasota, FL. His knowledge of the area, superior negotiation skills, and top-notch customer service make him the ideal choice of real estate agent. Contact Lee today at (941) 308-3877 or by emailing him at

Published on 2017-07-14 09:43:09