Serving all of Delaware 


Follow this series to learn how to get the best mortgage for your specific financial situation and goals.  Youll see what steps you need to take throughout this process to make it productive and successful!

It’s all about what you can afford each month before you determine a price range!

As discussed last week, you need this amount so your lender can work backward to determine a correlating sales price.

That’s why your first step is to look at your monthly budget, which will help determine what your monthly mortgage payment should be. Then they can pre-approve you for an amount you’re comfortable with (and not necessarily a higher amount they say you can afford).

  • Remember, it’s not helpful to know WHAT you qualify for (FYI lenders can qualify you for more than you want!).
  • It’s helpful to know what YOU WANT to qualify for and what those numbers look like—both your potential monthly payments along with down-payment requirements.

If you do it this way, you won’t start looking at homes that are not in the price range that makes sense for your budget.

Budgeting 101

Knowing where your money goes each month and how much you spend is really a basic financial must-do whether you own a home or are still renting. If you’ve never really sat down to do create a monthly budget, now is the time to put these numbers down. 

Ask yourself these two important questions:

Where does your money go now each month? How much is going to rent, to food, to travel, car, gym, etc.?  What expenses could you tighten-up on to get the home you want?

What expenses are mandatory” for your life and general happiness?  For example, if you love to travel, then don’t buy a home that makes it impossible to go on a trip for years!  That would not be worth it.  But, if you rarely drive your car and are willing to take mass transit, then that’s where you could cut some of your monthly expenses to buy a home in the location you want.

Making a budget is an important step, so be honest about what you spend your money on each month now, what you’re willing to forego, and what you expect to in the future.

Remember what you can afford today can change next year and after that. Yes, your salary will increase but you’ll have new costs, such as kids or a new car, which could mean daycare and higher car payments each month. Factor in all of this when doing your calculations.

Break It Down

Here’s what to include in your housing expenses. You’ll need to estimate some of these numbers and we can help you with that.

List all the costs of homeownership — property taxes, mortgage insurance, home insurance, maintenance, utilities, and condo fees, parking fees, if applicable. We can help with estimates!

List all other expenses you expect to continue — such as gym memberships, day care payments, car loans, school loans, gas or commuting fees, etc.

Estimate yearly maintenance costs for a home. Plan to spend or save about 1% of your home’s purchase price each year.  So, if you buy a $300,000 condo, you should be putting about $3,000 per year into the home for maintenance or into a savings account for when you need to replace something in the future!

Include any tax advantages youll get as a homeowner.  You’ll have deductions or equity in your home and can expect a larger refund that could go toward your savings.

As a home buyer, it’s also important to consider additional expenses, beyond your mortgage payment, that can impact how much home you can afford.

Im Here to Help

If you have any questions about calculating a monthly budget, please contact me. It’s an important step before you start looking at homes. Once you know your monthly budget, you’ll be able to work with the lender to determine your price range, which will then help you finalize your mortgage product and down payment options.

Stay tuned!  Next week, the third installment of the How to Get the Best Mortgage series will cover the topic, How Much You Need for a Down Payment.  This one is a biggie!  But, you need to go through this monthly budget step first, so get this homework done before next week.

What You Need to Know Before Buying Your Home in Delaware

Hi there!

I'm Doreen and I love helping people
buy or sell their home with my step-by-step guidance to make their buying or selling as smooth and stress-free as possible!

Let's talk  to see if buying or selling a home is right for you!


302 242 4686

PCSing to DAFB and need a home?

PCSing out of DAFB and need to sell?

Tired of renting on or off base?

yes, let's talk!!

Hi, there!

I'm Doreen and I love home buyers and sellers with my step-by-step guidance to make their buying or selling as smooth and stress-free as possible.   Contact me so that I can help you plan your next move!

schedule your free consultation

Buy a Home

Sell a Home