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When someone is house poor, it means that an individual is **spending a large portion of their total monthly income on homeownership expenses** such as monthly mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance, utilities and insurance.

Still, almost two-thirds (65%) of dual-income households felt it's harder than it should be to meet household expenses, compared to 79% of their single-income neighbors. Overall, **69% of respondents** considered themselves house poor, which warrants looking into why homeownership is a burden for many Americans.

House Poor Requirements

When adding these expenses, in experts say that the **ratio should not exceed 36% of your gross monthly income**. This calculation is referred to as the "back-end DTI." If an individual significantly exceeds the front-end or back-end DTIs, they may very likely qualify as house poor.

So if you earn $70,000 a year, you should be able to spend **at least $1,692 a month** — and up to $2,391 a month — in the form of either rent or mortgage payments.

A Critical Number For Homebuyers

One way to decide how much of your income should go toward your mortgage is to use the 28/36 rule. According to this rule, your **mortgage payment shouldn't be more than 28% of your monthly pre-tax income and 36% of your total debt**. This is also known as the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio.

This means that to afford a $300,000 house, you'd need **$60,000**.

What is the 50-20-30 rule? The 50-20-30 rule is a money management technique that divides your paycheck into three categories: **50% for the essentials, 20% for savings and 30% for everything else**.

What income is required for a 400k mortgage? To afford a $400,000 house, borrowers need **$55,600 in cash** to put 10 percent down. With a 30-year mortgage, your monthly income should be at least $8200 and your monthly payments on existing debt should not exceed $981. (This is an estimated example.)

A good rule of thumb is that the maximum cost of your house should be no more than 2.5 to 3 times your total annual income. This means that if you wanted to purchase a $500K home or qualify for a $500K mortgage, your minimum salary should fall **between $165K and $200K**.

The golden rule in determining how much home you can afford is that your **monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 28% of your gross monthly income** (your income before taxes are taken out). For example, if you and your spouse have a combined annual income of $80,000, your mortgage payment should not exceed $1,866.

In fact, **69% of homeowners feel they're house poor**, as per a ConsumerAffairs report. And 73% have reported that meeting household expenses is becoming increasingly difficult. If you're having a hard time keeping up with your housing expenses, there are steps you can take to ease that burden.

The **28% rule** states that you should spend 28% or less of your monthly gross income on your mortgage payment (e.g. principal, interest, taxes and insurance). To determine how much you can afford using this rule, multiply your monthly gross income by 28%.

Financial planners recommend limiting the amount you spend on housing to **25 percent of your monthly budget**.

To calculate 'how much house can I afford,' a good rule of thumb is using the **28%/36% rule**, which states that you shouldn't spend more than 28% of your gross monthly income on home-related costs and 36% on total debts, including your mortgage, credit cards and other loans like auto and student loans.

When saving up for a home, it's key to have a reserve of cash savings — or an emergency fund — that isn't used for the down payment or closing costs. It's a good idea to have **at least 3-6 months of living expenses saved up in** this cash reserve.

As a general rule, your total homeownership expenses shouldn't take **up more than 33% of your total monthly budget**. If your anticipated homeownership expenses take up more than 33% of your monthly budget, you'll need to adjust your mortgage choice.

Mortgage amount: $200,000 – This example assumes you have no other debts or monthly obligations beyond your new housing costs, a 20% down payment, and a good credit score. With that down payment, your $200,000 mortgage would buy you a home worth $250,000. Salary: **$94,000 per year**.

Experts suggest you might need an annual **income between $100,000 to $225,000**, depending on your financial profile, in order to afford a $1 million home. Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), credit score, down payment and interest rate all factor into what you can afford.

I make $90,000 a year. How much house can I afford? You can afford **a $306,000 house**.

The usual rule of thumb is that you can afford a **mortgage two to 2.5 times your annual income**. That's a $120,000 to $150,000 mortgage at $60,000. ... Lenders want your principal, interest, taxes and insurance – referred to as PITI – to be 28 percent or less of your gross monthly income.

You need to make **$199,956 a year** to afford a 650k mortgage. We base the income you need on a 650k mortgage on a payment that is 24% of your monthly income. In your case, your monthly income should be about $16,663. The monthly payment on a 650k mortgage is $3,999.

The Rule of 72 is a calculation that **estimates the number of years it takes to double your money at a specified rate of return**. If, for example, your account earns 4 percent, divide 72 by 4 to get the number of years it will take for your money to double. In this case, 18 years.

This suggests you should intend to save **20% of your monthly income or every paycheck**. This rule advocates putting 50% of your income toward your essential expenses each month, spending 30%, and then saving the remaining 20%.

- Take advantage of the stock market.
- Invest in mutual funds or ETFs.
- Invest in bonds.
- Invest in CDs.
- Fill a savings account.
- Try peer-to-peer lending.
- Start your own business.
- Start a blog or a podcast.