Who among us hasn't tormented themselves by scrolling through house listings they can't afford, longingly envisioning a life that's just out of reach? Some of us might have even found a listing that looks attainable at first, only to be let down by the actual price of the house when all of the additional costs are factored in. Realtor.com sympathizes with this plight, and has created a new tool to demystify what listings are actually affordable for a given home-buying hopeful.
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After surveying their audience, Realtor.com confirmed that 68% of first-time homebuyers were surprised by what they could actually afford, 32% of recent buyers found it difficult to understand how changing mortgage rates affected their monthly payments, and 62% were surprised by closing costs.
In response to these findings, the website just launched an affordability calculator. Using an individual's personal financial details, current mortgage rates, taxes, insurance, and HOA fees, the calculator determines if a listing's monthly payments will be comfortable for the potential buyer.
"There is nothing more disappointing than falling in love with a home only to realize that you can't afford it, and nothing more exciting than realizing you can afford that dream home," said Colleen Coyle, Realtor.com's vice president of product management, in a press release. "However, there are many factors that go into affordability. We introduced this tool to help shoppers better understand how much home they can afford and if specific homes fit their budget given their personal financial situation."
This empowering device can save first-time homebuyers from heartbreak in an ever-changing market that can be difficult to navigate. Users can also save their information to their buyer profile so that they can easily search for homes that fit within their budget.
Interested in trying out the tool? Test the Realtor.com affordability calculator by simply entering your income, debt, and available funds, and the calculator will do the rest, labeling listings either affordable, a stretch, difficult, or out of reach.