How Families Can Manage Their Mortgage Payment for Their First Home

Buying a home is a big life event. For many people, a mortgage payment is their biggest monthly expense. It is also important to keep in mind the other costs of a home. Use these four tips to ensure that your payments are made in accordance with the fine print.

Find Out How Much You Can Afford

There are many online calculators to help you find out how much home you can afford. These calculators are based on your income. They also factor your interest rate and the amount of your down payment. Some calculators also add your estimated property tax, homeowner's insurance, and private mortgage insurance. Even if an online calculator or a loan agent at the bank claims that you can afford a certain dollar amount on a mortgage payment each month, you might not feel comfortable with that amount.

Create a Budget for Your Home

If the cost of living in your area is high, you might need more flexibility in your budget. Take into account your other debts, such as student loan payments. Keep in mind your other fixed and flexible expenses, such as prescriptions and home repairs. Consider that property taxes could go up. Use these data points to make a budget for what you feel comfortable paying for a mortgage.

Work with a Realtor

Work with a Realtor to find a home in your price range. Realtors will help you search for homes that fit your needs, especially when considering things like: number of bedrooms and bathrooms, layout, and neighborhood. Realtors can also steer you to affordable neighborhoods that will provide you with a good value. Realtors can also provide key bits of advice, such as which neighborhoods might increase in value and give you more equity.

Set up Automatic Withdrawals

Electronic banking services make it easy for you to set up automatic withdrawals. This helps to ensure that you do not forget to make your monthly payment. You could also set up an escrow account or combine your monthly mortgage payments with insurance and property tax payments in order to simplify the process of managing and paying your bills.

Many people are surprised at the complexity of a real estate transaction. While shopping for a home might be fun, it is important to properly manage the details of the mortgage payment. Working with an experienced realtor and a reputable mortgage loan officer will help you to choose an affordable home and set up a convenient payment structure.


Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Rachelle recommends Jeff Glover & Associates Realtors for those interested in finding a new home. Follow her on Twitter (@RachelleWilber) and Facebook.