I keep hearing stories from people who, after buying their first home, become immediately overwhelmed by the financial toll of homeownership, especially when they spend more than they can actually afford. And, when buying your first home, it can be so easy to get in over your head.
When we were in the process of buying our first home, we were given a pre-approval amount of $150,000.
If we would have bought a house for that amount, I'm sure it would have led to us being house poor, which is when you buy more house than you can actually afford. While that amount may not seem like much to some, it was more than enough to purchase a good starter home in St. Louis, where we were living at the time.
This $150,000 number seemed high to us because we were quite young, just 20 years old, and we both had mediocre jobs. Yes, we were both working full-time, but our yearly salaries put together were still very low, and I definitely do not think we should have been approved for $150,000. If I remember correctly, our annual take-home income was only around $30,000. [Read more…]