You got your loan pre-approval and you can’t believe how much you can borrow! You are already dreaming of the perfect house that you are going to buy – you have it all pictured now. Before you do, you may want to consider buying less home than you can afford. We know that sounds like we are crushing your dreams, but there are some valid reasons you should use this strategy.
YOU NEED ROOM IN YOUR BUDGET
When a lender pre-approves you for a loan, they pre-approve you for the maximum amount that you can afford. That word maximum should scare you though. Do you really want to max out your budget? What happens when an emergency occurs and you can’t afford it? Now you have to choose between your mortgage and covering the emergency. That’s not a good spot to be in for anyone.
IT COSTS MORE TO RUN A BIG HOUSE
If you buy more house than you need, you are going to pay more to run the house. Even if you have empty rooms that remain unused, you have to pay for the utilities for the bigger size house. You’ll also have to cover the property taxes for the bigger house as well as the insurance to protect your bigger house.
YOU CAN SAVE MONEY ON YOUR MORTGAGE
Why take on a bigger mortgage than is necessary? If you buy a smaller or less expensive home, you may be able to afford a shorter-term mortgage. If you have a 15-year mortgage rather than a 30-year mortgage, that’s 15 years of interest that you could save. That’s a significant amount of money, totaling in the thousands of dollars.
YOU’LL ACCUMULATE LESS ‘STUFF’
The more space you have in a home, the more stuff you’ll accumulate. You may not think so when you buy the home, but it happens quicker than you think. With more space to spread things out, you don’t realize how much you are keeping until you get to the point that you run out of room. Why burden yourself with more stuff than you need when you could buy a smaller house (one that accommodates your family size).
HOME VALUES CHANGE AND IT CAN BE DRASTIC
If the housing crisis taught us anything, it’s that housing prices are volatile. Just because you pay a certain amount for your home now doesn’t mean that it will be worth that amount or more down the road. Home values can fall in the blink of an eye, which could mean that you lose thousands of dollars. Your mortgage amount doesn’t change because your value fell – you still owe what you paid for the home regardless of its value.
YOU AVOID BEING HOUSE POOR
If you buy a house at the maximum price that you can afford, you could wind up house poor. In other words, your entire paycheck goes to your mortgage or something to do with the home. Everyone needs disposable income. You need it for living expenses, entertainment, and savings. If all of your money goes to your house every month, you could end up regretting your purchase.
Buying more house than you need may not make sense. Unless you are able to pay cash for the home, you could find yourself in financial trouble as a result of buying too much home. When the loan officer tells you how much loan you qualify to receive, don’t assume that you should go and spend that much. Instead, figure out what you really need and try to keep your mortgage realistic so that you can keep your head above water.