I look at real estate listings nearly every single day, in hopes that my dream house will be for sale. That has yet to happen though.
W and I have been searching like crazy, but we haven't found one that fits what we are wanting. Maybe this means that we love our current house, or maybe this means that we are too demanding… I just don't know. But, I do know that we are not going to move until we find the perfect one.
I am making the switch to self employment soon, so if our dream house doesn't come up before my switch date, I do realize that buying our next house will have to be put on hold since most banks won't want to give us a loan since I will have just left my job. I am fine with that as well. Our second home purchase would just have to wait until my online income is reliable enough for a bank to lend us money. Whatever happens, will happen, and I will still be happy.
So, since housing has been on my mind a lot lately, I have also been paying attention to other personal finance bloggers and readers’ budgets. There are a bunch of resources out there about the home buying process, budgeting and just knowing when you're ready. With some people, housing consists of 15% of their budget. For others, it might be 50%.
Of course it all depends on where you live since some places like Vancouver and New York City have insane housing costs, and places like St. Louis have ridiculously low housing costs, but it is an interesting topic.
Right now, our housing costs (mortgage, insurance, property taxes, maintenance, etc.) total a very low percentage of our monthly after-tax income. It is less than 10%, which is a great feeling. When we first bought our house, our housing costs were around 30% to 35% of our monthly after-tax income, and it was very hard at that time to deal with our high budget and low-income.
What percentage of your budget goes to housing?
And if you don't mind saying, tell us how much your mortgage, insurance, maintenance and so on is in an actual dollar amount. I'm sure I'm not the only nosey person, right?