Better

Affordability calculator

Take the first step home

Better Mortgage is on a mission to make homeownership accessible to all! From finding your dream home to closing on it, we make every part of the homebuying process faster, easier, and less expensive. We leverage technology and superior customer service to turn a potentially stressful time into an enjoyable experience.

Tell us the basics

First time homebuyer?

ZIP code

Based on where you’re looking, price can change. Interest rates can vary by state and property taxes can change from county to county.

Annual gross income

This is your total income before taxes. If you plan on having a co-borrower, include their income too.

Available assets

This is what you’ll use for your down payment. It can include checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement funds, CDs, and brokerage accounts.

Credit score

0

Fair
Good
Excellent

This affects your interest rate. A higher score means a better chance of a lower rate. If you have a co-borrower, use the lower score of the two.

Mortgage information

Loan term

This is how long it will take you to pay off your loan. Some mortgages have 15 or 10 year terms, but 30 is most common.

Property usage

Whether you will be using your property to live in, use on the side, or as an investment. Based on what you choose, your loan type and rates can change.

Property type

Does your property have one unit? Are there 2 to 4 units? Or is it a condo? Based on what type of property you have, your loan type may change.

Build your budget

Add in all those other non-mortgage expenses and see what you’ll be spending each month.

Miscellaneous expenses

Monthly minimum debt payment

This includes regular payments like credit cards, student loans, and car payments.

Utilities

Natural gas, heating, and electric. If you currently rent, this may be included as part of your monthley rent payments so check your lease.

Miscellaneous expenses

Add up what you might normally spend on expenses like internet, food, car payments and insurance, groceries, child alimony, and entertainment every month.

Maintenance

Typically, homeowners set aside between 1-4% of the purchase price of their house for annual maintenance and repairs. The older the house, the higher this percentage should be.

Home improvement

If you expect any major home improvements after you buy, put those here. Things like a kitchen or bathroom remodel can start at $10,000.

Estimated homebuying budget

Calculating...

Requires a downpayment of $0 (0%) and closing cost of $0 on a 0 year at 0.000% (0.000% APR).

Total monthlypayments$0
Principal & interest
$0
Mortgage insurance
$0
Property taxes
$0
Home insurance
$0
Monthly minimum debt payments
$0
Utilities
$0
Miscellaneous expenses
$0
Maintenance budget
$0
Home improvement
$0

Affordability calculator is for illustrative purposes only. Zip codes are used to estimate property taxes and insurance. Accuracy not guaranteed.

Over $5.0 billion funded and we're just getting started. Better Mortgage Corporation is backed by:

LogoAmexLogoGoldmanSachsLogoCiti
Ready for the next step?

Get pre-approved in as little as 3 minutes

Now that you know how much house you can afford, a pre-approval letter from Better Mortgage can help you show sellers you’re serious about buying. Customize it instantly online for every open house you go to.

Start pre-approval

Need some help getting started?

Bucket List placeholder 1

Breaking down mortgage rates and costs

Whether you’ve already started doing your research or aren’t quite sure where to begin, we’re here to help you get home.

Read article
Bucket List placeholder 2

What is a mortgage pre-approval?

If you’re considering buying a house, you’re probably wondering how much you can afford.

Read article
Bucket List placeholder 3

The Better guide to buying a home

We’ve distilled our best advice into a slim and straightforward homebuying guide to help you prepare.

Read article

How much mortgage can I afford?

Buying your first home is exciting! But, before you start hitting open houses, you need to determine how much of a mortgage you can afford.

While you might have a general idea of your budget based on your financial situation, a home affordability calculator can give you an even clearer picture. Plus, you can play around with different scenarios to see how each field impacts the results. That way, you can narrow down your home search to properties that easily fit into your budget.

The calculator will consider several factors, including your:

  • Debt-to-income ratio
  • Credit score
  • Down payment
Let’s look at how these factors can affect how much house you can comfortably afford.

Your debt-to-income ratio

The reason we ask questions regarding your income and current expenses is so we can get an idea of your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Your DTI measures how much you owe in relation to your earnings, expressed as a percentage. A lower DTI ratio tells lenders that you may have room in your budget to take on a new loan, like a mortgage.

However, a higher DTI ratio suggests that you might struggle to keep up with payments on a new home loan because much of your income is already tied up servicing other debt. If your DTI ratio is too high (requirements vary by lender), you may have to buy a less expensive home or postpone your purchase until you pay off other bills.

To calculate your DTI ratio, divide your monthly debt payments by your monthly gross income and multiply by 100. For example, if you pay $2,400 toward your debt and earn $8,000 each month, your DTI ratio is 30%.

Your credit score

Your credit score tells your lender how risky it might be to give you a home loan. If you have a high score, you have a better chance of getting approved for a mortgage and securing a low interest rate. A low interest rate means a lower monthly payment, which could give you wiggle room in your budget to afford a more expensive property.

On the other hand, if you have a low credit score, you might get stuck with a high interest rate, which could mean that you can’t afford a more expensive house. Or worst case, if your score is too low, your mortgage application could get denied.

Your down payment

Your down payment is the amount of money you pay upfront toward purchasing your home on closing day. Depending on the type of mortgage you take out, down payments typically range from 3% to 20% of the sale price. For example, if you buy a $300,000 house and need to put 3% down, your down payment will be $9,000 (and at 20% down, it would be $60,000).

Your down payment reduces the principal balance of your mortgage, which lowers your required monthly payment. As a result, you may be able to afford a more expensive home if a large down payment brings your monthly housing expense in line with your budget. Plus, making a significant down payment could result in a lower interest rate, which may also allow you to buy a higher-priced property.

Get Pre-Approved in 3 minutes

6 tips for buying an affordable home

You’ll need to go through several steps before buying a house. But, if you want to walk away with a mortgage that fits into your budget, here are six tips for buying an affordable home:

#1: Check your cash flow

You should first determine how a new mortgage would fit into your budget. So, take a close (and honest!) look at your current income and expenses. Then, if needed, brainstorm ways to earn more money or reduce your spending.

#2: Consider all mortgage and housing-related costs

Getting a mortgage means more than just a new monthly payment. You’ll want to consider all the upfront and ongoing costs that are associated with your mortgage and housing costs, too. When budgeting, you should factor in your down payment, closing costs, principal payment, interest on your loan, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. You may also have to factor in private mortgage insurance (PMI) or a homeowner’s association membership, depending on your situation.

#3: Improve your financial profile

It’s a good idea to strengthen your financial position as much as possible before applying for a mortgage. You can pay off debt, boost your credit score, or save more for a down payment. Taking a first-time homebuyer course may help you develop a strategy to improve your finances.

#4: Explore all of your mortgage options

Believe it or not, there are several types of mortgage loans available to homebuyers. You may want to explore conventional mortgages, FHA loans, and other government-backed financing options, like VA or USDA loans, to help determine which may be right for your situation. There are also many first-time homebuyer resources, which could reduce your upfront costs or help you more easily qualify.

#5: Choose a house you can handle

Being a homeowner means you can’t call a landlord to fix a broken water heater or bust pipe. Beyond the upfront costs and monthly mortgage payments, be prepared to cover home repairs and upgrades. You may also have to open up your wallet for furniture and decor. So, be sure to buy a house that you can afford to furnish and maintain.

#6: Stick to your budget

Buying a property might be a very emotional process for you. You may fall in love with a home, only to get outbid by another buyer. As much as it hurts, stay strong and stick to your budget. Otherwise, you could end up with a mortgage payment that you struggle to make. Our mortgage calculator can help you avoid borrowing too much.

Start with a better homebuying experience

At Better Mortgage, we know buying a home can be an overwhelming endeavor. That’s why we’re dedicated to making the entire homebuying and mortgage process faster, simpler, and less expensive.

We’ve partnered with real estate agents across the country that can help make your homeownership dreams a reality.

Our Better Real Estate (BRE) agents:

  • Provide personalized guidance, not pushy sales tactics
  • Help you secure affordable financing — whether that’s through Better or another lender
  • Connect you with our trusted network of providers, such as home inspectors, appraisers, insurance agents, contractors, and more
BRE agents aren’t salespeople — they’re your partners in the homebuying process.

When you’re ready to look for homes, we can help you move fast by issuing you an official pre-approval letter online in minutes. Getting a mortgage pre-approval shows sellers you’re a serious buyer. The pre-approval can also help solidify your homebuying budget and increase the likelihood that your offer will be accepted.

Our entire mortgage process — from application through funding — is 100% online, so updates are always just a few clicks away. Using a combination of effective technology and financial savvy, we can originate your loan for less money, and we pass those savings on to you. In fact, with Better Mortgage, you’ll never have to pay unnecessary lender fees or loan officer commissions, leaving you with more cash for your new place.

Are you ready to see how much you qualify for so you can find your dream home? Get pre-approved today.