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P.O. Box 1411 Bismarck, ND 58502-1411



September/October 2021

No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home

Thinking about buying a house? Here’s what you need to know.

How Much House?
Your housing expenses, including principal and interest, property taxes and insurance, generally shouldn’t be more than 28% of your total pre-tax income, while total debt (credit cards, car loans, personal loans, and student loans) shouldn’t exceed 36%. Shop for homes that keep you in this range.

The Down Payment
Having enough money for a down payment and mortgage closing costs may take a few years and a lot of sacrifice. Figure out how much you’ll need and establish a time frame for saving the money. Cut back on non-essentials like cable TV, gym memberships and dining out, and put any raises or bonuses you receive toward your goal.

15, 20, 30?
It’s a no-brainer that the shorter the loan term, the less you’ll pay in interest over the life of the mortgage. Putting down a minimum of 20% of the purchase price will reduce your loan amount and help you avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) that protects the lender in case you default on the loan.


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