DEAR BOB: What percentage of my monthly income can I afford for my mortgage payment? I am buying my first home. My only debt is a car payment with a balance of about $2,500 – Doc R. DEAR DOC: The answer depends on your mortgage lender. Some conservative old-fashioned lenders say a home buyer's principal and interest mortgage payment should not exceed 28 percent to 33 percent of gross family income. They also specify total debt payments should not exceed 36 percent of household income. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. But many other lenders allow mortgage payments up to 40 percent, occasionally even 50 percent, of household income if there isn't much other debt, as in your situation. FHA and VA mortgages usually also offer quite liberal qualifications. I suggest you discuss your...
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