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How to Determine If You Can Afford to Buy a Home

How to Determine If You Can Afford to Buy a Home | MyKCM

The gap between the increase in personal income and residential real estate prices has been used to defend the concept that we are experiencing an affordability crisis in housing today.

It is true that home prices and wages are two key elements in any affordability equation. There is, however, an extremely important third component to that equation: mortgage interest rates.

Mortgage interest rates have fallen by more than a full percentage point from this time last year. Today’s rate is 3.75%; it was 4.86% at this time last year. This has dramatically increased a purchaser’s ability to afford a home.

Here are three reports validating that purchasing a home is in fact more affordable today than it was a year ago:

CoreLogic’s Typical Mortgage Payment

“Falling mortgage rates and slower home-price growth mean that many buyers this year are committing to lower mortgage payments than they would have faced for the same home last year. After rising at a double-digit annual pace in 2018, the principal-and-interest payment on the nation’s median-priced home – what we call the “typical mortgage payment”– fell year-over-year again.”  

The National Association of Realtors’ Affordability Index

“At the national level, housing affordability is up from last month and up from a year ago…All four regions saw an increase in affordability from a year ago…Payment as a percentage of income was down from a year ago.”

First American’s Real House Price Index (RHPI)

“In 2019, the dynamic duo of lower mortgage rates and rising incomes overcame the negative impact of rising house price appreciation on affordability. Indeed, affordability reached its highest point since January 2018. Focusing on nominal house price changes alone as an indication of changing affordability, or even the relationship between nominal house price growth and income growth, overlooks what matters more to potential buyers – surging house-buying power driven by the dynamic duo of mortgage rates and income growth. And, we all know from experience, you buy what you can afford to pay per month.”

Bottom Line

Though the price of homes may still be rising, the cost of purchasing a home is actually falling. If you’re thinking of buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, let’s connect so you can better understand the difference between the two.

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Jeff Duneske

With over 22 years of real estate experience, a career volume of over $300 million, and over 1,200 property's sold, Jeff Duneske, broker/ owner of Duneske Real Estate Advisors at Keller Williams Advantage, has a lot to be proud of. Jeff has built his business — and thrived in the industry — by instilling his clients' trust. " I have always said that we meet our clients at the crossroads of life and change — that we can make a difference, earn their trust and help our clients during this change." "Knowing that I have earned the trust of over 1,000 clients and the privilege of guiding them through one of life's largest financial transactions to achieve the American Dream is the greatest reward of my business." Jeff was born and raised in Novi and earned the distinguished rank of Eagle Scout when he was 15 years old. In 1996, Jeff graduated from Novi High School and The Oakland Fire Academy and had the intent to become a full-time firefighter. After serving as an auxiliary firefighter and EMT in Novi and Walled Lake for several years and not landing a full-time position on the force, Jeff decided to shift gears and find another professional path to help people and begin his real estate career in 2000. Having earned the top agent or team at various brokerages over his career, Jeff has demonstrated his drive to reach for the sky and his commitment to his clients. "We never rest on our laurels, and we're always improving our current systems — and implementing new systems — to boost efficiency and assure stellar service." Jeff, who has served on the Professional Standards Committee for the past nine years, embraces a solid mindset to persistently achieve his goals without compromising his morals, standards, or ethics for anyone or any transaction. "You must uphold your standards because if you don't uphold them, you have no standards at all." "I run my life and business by The Golden Rule: Treat others how you would like to be treated." Jeff's noble purpose — conducting his business with the highest morals, ethics, and standards — has led him to a successful real estate career. More importantly, his ethical and moral standards have enriched his life and the lives of others in immeasurable ways … and because Jeff does not waver, he will continue to lead with purpose, honor, and great promise.

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