Sorry…but that’s too much.
I remember when I bought my first house as a much-younger man, I ended up with a payment that represented about 17 percent of my gross monthly income at the time…and you want to know something? I didn’t have a good night’s sleep for the following two weeks, so worried was I about having to meet that obligation each month. I eventually began to relax about it, and I saw that it was manageable, but I will also tell you that there were plenty of months of unexpected expenses that, if I’d had an appreciably higher payment to deal with, there’s no way I would have been able to make it….and 17 percent is a lot lower than 28 percent.
The good news for home buyers these days is that the market is so hopelessly glutted with distressed properties that there is plenty of opportunity to buy one with a payment that is much lower than one-third of gross monthly income. To do that, however, means having to resist the temptation for more, and be happy with less; to look at a house as a four walls and a roof that becomes a home not out of deference to its size, but out of deference to the people who occupy it.
For too many, therein lies the real challenge
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Bob Yetman, Editor-at-Large at Christian Money.com (www.christianmoney.com), is an author of a variety of materials on personal finance and investing, as well as on topics of fitness and self defense, to include the recently-released book Investor's Passport to Hedge Fund Profits (John Wiley & Sons, Inc; www.investorspassport.com) and the new unarmed combat training DVD Thunderstrikes - How to Develop One Shot, One Kill Striking Power (Paladin Press; www.mikereevesonline.com).