Poll: If your household income were $100,000, how expensive a home would you be comfortable buying?

If your household income were $100,000, how expensive a home would you be comfortable buying?

  • Under $150k (2%, 7 Votes)
  • $150k to $199k (10%, 35 Votes)
  • $200k to $299k (33%, 123 Votes)
  • $300k to $399k (36%, 131 Votes)
  • $400k to $499k (13%, 48 Votes)
  • $500k to $599k (4%, 15 Votes)
  • $600k to $699k (1%, 4 Votes)
  • $700k or above (1%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 368

This poll was active 11.27.2011 through 12.10.2011.

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

55 comments:

  1. 1
    toad37 says:

    I voted 300-399, but that is assuming I could put at least 50% down and still have plenty of savings left over. But, even the idea of a 200k mortgage is sickening… so bump that to at least 75% down.

  2. 2
    Hugh Dominic says:

    How old am I in this scenario? An I putting 20% down?

  3. 3
    ARDELL says:

    It should say how much of a mortgage would you be comfortable with.

    The long standing super conservative method is 3 times your annual income, counting only the income of one spouse. If the 2nd spouse has an income, that income should be put away…in whole…while you are renting, and that becomes the downpayment on the house at time of purchase.

    Young couple…no children yet…rent = 28% of the highest wage earner’s gross income. 2nd income goes straight to the “downpayment for a home” savings account less $10,000. $10,000 should remain in savings after closing on the home as the “house emergency fund”.

    This is what allows for a house purchase to be based on one income only, as the 2nd income was saved to keep the loan amount at time of purchase down to a one income level.

    Interest rates adjust the amount somewhat towards 4x gross of one income. At 4% the loan amount can exceed 3X gross income of one salary, as the 3X formula assumes a much higher mortgage rate.

    The debt ratio can be based on both incomes as long as the goal of the 2nd income, after the home is purchased, is to pay off the debt. Then by the time you have children with expanded needs you have an affordable home payment and no or little debt.

  4. 4
    Jonness says:

    This is an excellent question, and I’m not really sure of an appropriate answer.

    The median household income of people who buy homes in King County is about $80K compared to a median house price of about $320K. Thus, the going rate for homes is about 4x income. So if a buyer puts 10% down on a 4x home of $400K, it leaves $360K to be financed. This works out to a monthly payment estimate as follows:

    Mortgage: $1771
    Property Tax: $333
    Hazard Ins: $67
    PMI: $150
    ————————-
    Total: $2321

    This works out to $27852 per year, which is roughly 28% of a $100K income. Interestingly, 28% is the most frequently cited affordability measure.

    Personally, I would not feel comfortable leveraging into a $360K loan on a $100K income at a time where a significant risk of price declines exists. But, apparently many people have no problem with this. From what I’ve read, many people actually consider 28% of gross annual household income to be a conservative amount.

    My question is, how do other seattlebubble posters feel about the 28% affordability measure? Is this realistic as an affordability measure?

  5. 5
    robotslave says:

    Income level? Are you just messing with us, Tim?

    First let’s establish my assets, outstanding debt, future obligations, and current cost of living, and then move on to income level.

    I can’t decide how much house to buy based on income. I’d base that decision instead on how much I can afford to put down, together with my current and projected savings/surplus.

  6. 6

    RE: Jonness @ 4
    I think 28% is too high. Just because a bank will loan you that amount doesn’t mean it’s a prudent thing to do. If the household income is 100k, is that take home, or is the take home income 80k?
    If the take home is 80k, let’s say 25% is good, so 20k per year , so that comes out to about a 250,000 dollar house.
    Conservative? Sure. I can’t be a crazy liberal in all things.

  7. 7
    travis says:

    I think the question is too vague. What is my net worth?

  8. 8
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 6

    28% of gross income is the point you move from up or down. “it” never changes. What people do with “it” changes. Some go higher, some go lower…but knowing “it” is important, so people know when they are being more or less conservative.

    28% is not “the amount a bank will loan you”. It is an important benchmark all parents should teach their children, so that when a bank “will loan them” 40% (all VA loans) they understand that 40% may be doable…but also way too high.

  9. 9
    FenceSitter says:

    RE: Jonness @ 4
    28% is pretty much the max with which we are comfortable. We could probably stretch a bit further because we have lived well below our means and max out our retirement savings every year; and we have a decent amount of cash saved – more than half would be left after making a 20% down payment and paying closing costs. Also I am not working right now, so this is based on his salary alone. Despite the economy I am fairly confident I could be rehired at my last place of employment quite easily. We have no debt and don’t plan on having children (we are in our early 30’s).
    If we did have other debt, I don’t think we would want the total debt to be any higher than 35% of our income.

  10. 10
    Born Here, Done That! says:

    It’s interesting to note that almost everyone went into “Advisor” mode rather than just answer the question.

    You know your assets, your liabilities, your age, your employment outlook, etc.
    You even know where you think the market is heading and how low you think it will go.

    I would not be comfortable buying in this market unless I was sure of the deal based on where I think the market is heading. 15-20% below today’s FMV. However, since I’d have to make a purchase contingent on selling my home at FMV I would be pretty much locked-out.

    That being said: $300-350,000 max since the kids are gone, the car is paid for and I plan to die there since I can’t trust the market to plan to sell without a loss.

  11. 11
    ARDELL says:

    RE: FenceSitter @ 8

    Moving up or down from 28% of gross is usually an objective vs subjective process.

    Example: My client is just out of medical internship and likely at his lowest income point looking out to the future. To buy a home he will still be happy in 10 years from now, he may want to go past 28% to be at 20% by the time he has children. This based on a rising income and a fixed payment. That is better than trading up to a better home later, as he saves the cost of in and out by stretching to a reasonable prediction of future income now.

    Converse Example: My clients are a family with two small children who have rented.for 7 years and saved only enough to buy FHA 3.5% down and the wife is planning to have more children and not planning to work until the eldest goes to college. This family should spend no more than 28% of gross…and less if possible.

    In that regard, “the customer is not always right” and an agent should not help someone move outside of realistic decisions on the high side…or sometimes the too low side, without helping walk them through the likely future consequence of their today actions.

    Because the agent model has changed…and will continue to do so, it is important for schools and parents to teach children about one and one being 2 …and 28% of gross being a reasonable house payment for most people. The subprime crisis was in part due to the fact that people relied on lenders not to lend more than they should. Teach your children to know better than that. Teach them KNOWN principles like 28% so they will know the high and low of it by knowing the benchmark they are using as a gauge.

  12. 12
    Scotsman says:

    I’m looking at spending about 10-15% of gross income on PITI.

    The real question is how much are you willing to lose every month above and beyond what an equivilent house would rent for in order to say you own?

  13. 13
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 10RE: ARDELL @ 3

    Realtor or financial planner? Common sense or series 7 securities license? Are all realtors qualified to advise? If not- who should? Can I sue you if it “doesn’t work out?”

    Are we calling a new bottom here, or are we still attatched to the last one?

  14. 14
    Azucar says:

    By Scotsman @ 11:

    The real question is how much are you willing to lose every month above and beyond what an equivilent house would rent for in order to say you own?

    It’s not just to say that you own, though… there’s benefits and negatives to both choices:

    – Purchasing (with a fixed rate mortgage) means you know what you will be spending for housing for the next (15 or 20 or) 30 years. Rent could go up or down. If you think rents will go up in the future, then buying looks more attractive. If you think rents will go down in the future, then buying looks less attractive.

    – Purchasing means that in 15 or 20 or 30 years from now (depending upon your mortgage), the monthly payments will go down drastically. That could be a big benefit if you’re planning to retire at that time, and you’ll have less income to spend on housing but still want to live in the same neighborhood.

    – Purchasing means that you’re free to do what you want to the place… but you’re also responsible for the big ticket maintenance items like a new roof or re-siding the place. Advantage here probably goes to renters, except in the cases where people really want to do something specific (like a customized man-cave with a 55 inch LCD and theater seating in the basement)

    I think that the first two items are the driver for me – wanting to KNOW what my monthly lodging cost will be for the next say 20 years, and that it will go way down after those 20 years. It seems that many here are pretty confident that rents will be going down over then next several years, but my guess is that regardless of what rents are 3 or 5 years from now they’ll be higher 10 years from now… and will continue to climb at least at the pace of inflation for the next 30 years… and they won’t drop to nearly nothing after year 20 or 30. Now it’s just a matter of waiting until the purchase prices have come down enough – why pay $3000/month for a mortgage when a similar house might only require a $2000/month mortgage a couple of years from now…

  15. 15
    John Bailo says:

    Suppose you have $20,000 in the bank. How much of that would you feel comfortable giving to me for nothing in return?

    Because based on current numbers…that is what you are asking.

  16. 16
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 12

    It’s part of what an agent needs to know to get a real estate license in most every State in the Country. Always has been. I’m guessing there’s a reason an agent is supposed to know that, or it wouldn’t be required.

    Why do you think such basic knowledge, that every person who buys a house should know, reaches the level of Financial Planner or Securities Advisor? Has basic math become that obscure in this Country, that one needs a “Financial Planner” to tell them that spending 40% of gross income is doable…but not advisable? Every agent should be able to apply the knowledge differently for each client.

    But only if the client wants that level of service. Not everyone does. That’s why we need Redfin and WA-LAW and 500 Realty and Findwell and hopefully NO traditional companies left who just open doors and say “Do you like this enough to buy it?”

    I don’t really know, Scotsman, because I was a Financial Consultant for 20 years prior to Real Estate. I don’t know what other agents do and don’t know. But I do know they need to know it for at least an hour to take their Real Estate License Exam. I think there’s a reason they need to know it…and it is so that they can advise their clients when they stray out of the conservative zones.

  17. 17
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Born Here, Done That! @ 9

    For me…I’m 57. In five years I will buy my retirement place all cash. No mortgage. No rent. Not based on income, as I don’t want to be locked into working until I die. I may want to work until I die…but I don’t want to have to work. I won’t care if the value goes up or down. I will only care that I can buy it all cash on the day that I buy it. Taxes and Utilities will be covered by my 20 year Bank Pension I built up from 1972 to 1992. Food & such? Social Security. All my basic needs will be covered. Work will be optional. My preference is a large retirement community like Friendly Valley in Santa Clarita/Newhall in CA. An hour from the grandkids.

    I may not retire in 5 years, but I will take more “long weekends” to L.A. :)

  18. 18
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Azucar @ 13

    ” Purchasing (with a fixed rate mortgage) means you know what you will be spending for housing for the next (15 or 20 or) 30 years.”

    True enough. But what will your income be? Really?! How sure are you of that? I think a lot of us might be surprised. I will admit I have no idea- we could be in a highly inflationary environment, or still in a serious slump with ever higher unemployment, falling wages, and an ongoing globalization/equalization in process. Because it’s unknown is the best argument for either renting or spending much less than you might normally on housing. Saving never hurts in this type of environment. Saving will also lead you to reduced or zero housing costs in the future.

  19. 19
    FenceSitter says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 15

    “Has basic math become that obscure in this Country, that one needs a “Financial Planner” to tell them that spending 40% of gross income is doable…but not advisable?”

    Quite possibly.

  20. 20
    Enatai Lurker says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 15 – Ardell, I’ve heard the 28% rule often too. This question is well outside of real estate, but do you know if there are associated rules, like 28% of gross income spent on housing, and x% put in savings? I can’t imagine spending 28% of our current income on housing costs. The only way we could do that would be by significantly reducing our savings. Are we saving more than people traditionally did (25% of gross income), or should I be trimming our other expenditures to get to that 28% figure for our housing?

  21. 21
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 15

    ” Why do you think such basic knowledge, that every person who buys a house should know, reaches the level of Financial Planner or Securities Advisor? Has basic math become that obscure in this Country, that one needs a “Financial Planner” to tell them that spending 40% of gross income is doable…but not advisable? ”

    I would think that the current mess we and most of the rest of the developed world are in- insolvency- would lead you to an answer. If not, review your numerous bottom calls and the trend they reveal, then try to again. Really, Ardell- for all your charm and knowledge you’re as oblivious as a butterfly caught in a strong updraft.

  22. 22
    Ken M says:

    My wife and I, both 28, are at 154k gross income this year. We are buying a house and should close by xmas. We are putting down 20% and are buying a house for 330k purchase price.

  23. 23
    David Losh says:

    Real Estate is a business that requires a business plan. If I want to spend 100% of my income on housing, if it’s a part of my over all plan, then that’s what I should be doing.

    There are dozens of what ifs that I could do, but it would fall on deaf ears.

    It makes no difference any way. I just spent a couple of days looking at the North West Multiple Listing Service. When did “Not a Short Sale” become a marketing comment? What the frigging heck happened to the Real Estate market place in the past year?

    Is it complete insanity or are people just dumbed down by the internet marketing sites like redfin?

    That’s the problem with all of you out there “shopping” for property on your own. You don’t see the Multiple Listing Service. It’s a disaster.

  24. 24
    jason warren says:

    I voted in the 200s. In reality, if my family’s combined gross income in Seattle was $100k we’d rent, not purchase.

    For my family, buying a house isn’t our raison’ d’etre, so we use our money elsewhere. When we finally bought our first house (in 2009, when we were 33), we kept the PITI around 15% of our gross income, and used a relatively low down payment. Our income has risen a lot since we bought our home, but I’d still keep the PITI in the 15%-20% range if we bought another place.

  25. 25
    Howard says:

    $75k down, zero debt, $120k gross hoesehold , I would like to stay under $350k.

    On the other hand we rent a 1500 sqft rambler in the same neighborhood we want to buy for $1550 a month. No it doesn’t have granite or stainless, but our payments would be closer to $2000 a month if we bought it. Hard to justify buying in at this time?

  26. 26
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Enatai Lurker @ 20

    Debt payments are the only limitation to the 28% rule. Your monthly debt payments should not be more than 8% of gross income. If your debt payments are 10% of your gross income, you have to reduce the housing payment to 26%. Is your debt load (car payments, student loans, credit cards) what makes 28% not seem feasible?

  27. 27
    ARDELL says:

    Scotsman 21 – Your comments are usually pretty factual. Most people know that I did not make “numerous bottom calls”. It’s not like you to spout out untruths like that.

    You feeling OK?

  28. 28
    ARDELL says:

    As to saving 25% of gross income, yes that is on the high side, unless part of that is for a downpayment on a home. But it depends what kind of work you do. What are you saving for? What do you spend savings on?

    I’m in LA at the moment on vacation. Does part of your 25% in “savings” include an annual withdrawal for a vacation? Or is it all for long term savings with no earmarked purpose?

  29. 29
    gr8day says:

    Dave Ramsey has a radio show, and I was listening to him a few weeks ago. He has this advice:

    No debt except a house.

    Expenses – 50%
    Fun 30%
    Savings 20%

    I am sure there are more details to his plan, but I did not write them all down.

  30. 30
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Enatai Lurker @ 20

    I’m not sure this is the best place to get financial planning advice. Enatai covers a pretty wide range- I’d guess family incomes from $100K well into the millions. What’s right for you would depend pretty heavily on where you are in that range, your age, your goals, your priorities.

    The numbers tossed around here come from the MAXIMUMS (28% PITI, 35% all monthly debt) traditionally allowed by underwriters- the folks who give the yes/no during the loan approval process. They also tie in with federal standards for the secondary market- Fannie/Freddie guarantees, etc. They often have very, very little to do with what is right for your financial situation.

  31. 31
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 26

    Fine. Replace “numerous” with several- enough that we’ve lost track- largely due to all the secondary qualifications that seem to materialize after the fact. I’m sure others here can provide documentation.

    Maybe Kary will come to your defense. He, of course, absolves himself of any knowledge of future events. ;-)

  32. 32
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 29

    This is real estate. How much you spend on housing, leaving enough for other purposes, is real estate. Are you suggesting everyone in the Country who buys a house sees a Financial Planner first and is incapable of doing simple math calculations?

    28% housing allowance with a 36% back end is NOT the “maximum”…far from it. VA has had 40/40 ratios for many years…decades…with no distinction between housing and debt. VA has allowed all 40% to be housing if someone has no debt.

    Where do you get the idea that 28% is a quoted “max” amount? 33% front end has been commonly approved by lenders for at least 15 years.

    10% of gross may be right for you, but living well under your means can be worse, much worse, than living above your means.

  33. 33
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 30

    Try ONE…that held…for longer than any other…was front page news even. Why do you feel the need to make things up to attack people with? I usually let comments like that slide because they are made by obvious flamers. But you usually get your facts pretty straight.

    One bottom call, and in many areas that bottom still holds to this day.

  34. 34
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 31

    Go back and read the post. Traditional numbers tying into F/F and the secondary market are and have been for a long time 28/35. Does that mean there aren’t others? No. But it means what I said.

    As for this:

    “10% of gross may be right for you, but living well under your means can be worse, much worse, than living above your means.”

    Please enlighten me. I’ll keep in mind that the analysis is coming from a realtor who lost her house in the “correction.” That’s worse than my savings account and future options?

    Cheers.

  35. 35
    Azucar says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 34

    Well, I don’t want to respond for someone else, but the way I interpreted it is that if you live way below your means, you could end up living in a dump… or at least a worse place than you would be living if you didn’t live way below your means. Living above your means, as many people seemed to be doing in the bubble days, wasn’t such a bad life…. especially if you didn’t waste all of the cash you withdrew from your ATM/house. And the worst case of that scenario, doing it ’til you lost your house in the “correction”, isn’t the worst thing in the world that could happen to you.

    For example, someone could have bought a house on Mercer Island (with a view of Renton across the south end of Lake Washington), above what they could afford, used it as an ATM to buy a boat and other toys, lived in a beautiful McMansion and loved the life for 10 years from 1999-2009. Then when the reality caught up to them, they get foreclosed, declare bankruptcy and move into a Renton apartment until the credit hit clears and they can get back on with their life. Contrast that with the guy who, say, lived in a Renton apartment from 1999-2009, saved up $300k, and then died of a heart attack while moving a new grand piano into the place on Mercer Island with a view of Renton that he bought at a foreclosure auction with the savings.

  36. 36
    Cheap South says:

    Am I guaranteed $100K/year plus inflation for the next 30 years?

    Yes – Under $250K

    No – Under $150K

  37. 37

    By Scotsman @ 13:

    Realtor or financial planner? Common sense or series 7 securities license? Are all realtors qualified to advise? If not- who should? Can I sue you if it “doesn’t work out?”

    By ARDELL @ 16:

    It’s part of what an agent needs to know to get a real estate license in most every State in the Country. Always has been. I’m guessing there’s a reason an agent is supposed to know that, or it wouldn’t be required.

    Ardell is actually somewhat right here. Unlike say predicting whether the market is headed up or down (which is what many here think agents should be able to do), agents actually do get some minimal training in real estate finance. Loan originators are really more the experts in that area though, so the role of the agent is mainly to make sure the client is not being terribly misguided by a loan originator when the client has picked their lender.

  38. 38

    By David Losh @ 23:

    Real Estate is a business that requires a business plan. If I want to spend 100% of my income on housing, if it’s a part of my over all plan, then that’s what I should be doing..

    You gotta do what you wanna do?

  39. 39

    By David Losh @ 23:

    I just spent a couple of days looking at the North West Multiple Listing Service. When did “Not a Short Sale” become a marketing comment?

    You don’t understand real estate.

  40. 40

    What’s Wrong With a 15% of Your net pay Mortgage Payment????

    Let’s see now a $100K “net” income with normal deductions from the gross pay for taxes, social security, medical benefits and retirements, etc….is about $5200/mo.

    5200 x 15%=$780/mo

    Hey that ‘s under $150K on a principle loan balance.

    But let’s rob from our emergency savings and round it up to like 20%….and allow for college , automobile and credit card loan debt….with the total under 30% of your net pay [the old bank qualification rule of the late 80s]. Assuming ya got no other type of debt besides mortgage, ya can maybe swing $200-225K….

    These were the loan qualification rules when our banks weren’t bailed out with tax payer debt.

  41. 41

    By Scotsman @ 31:

    RE: ARDELL @ 26

    Fine. Replace “numerous” with several- enough that we’ve lost track- largely due to all the secondary qualifications that seem to materialize after the fact. I’m sure others here can provide documentation.

    Maybe Kary will come to your defense. He, of course, absolves himself of any knowledge of future events. ;-)

    The best I can do is this:
    https://seattlebubble.com/blog/2010/10/26/case-shiller-seattles-home-price-double-dip-begins/comment-page-1/#comment-113959

    Summary:

    Ardell bullish 2/07
    Ardell bearish 4/08
    Ardell bullish 2/09
    Ardell bearish ?????
    Ardell bullish (“near bottom”) 10/10 (post 19 in link)

    As I note in the link, the frequent changes of position make the information useless, even if it had been accurate, because you cannot get into and out of a real estate holding as quickly as say a stock.

  42. 42
    trucker says:

    By gr8day @ 29:

    Dave Ramsey has a radio show, and I was listening to him a few weeks ago. He has this advice:

    No debt except a house.

    Expenses – 50%
    Fun 30%
    Savings 20%

    I am sure there are more details to his plan, but I did not write them all down.

    Having led his FPU class a couple times, there’s quite a bit more to what he teaches. Can’t say that I remember that kind of breakdown, but that’s not unreasonable, though the “Fun” amount seems high unless you’re also mortgage free.

    What he teaches people do is follow 7 “Baby Steps”.

    Step 0: Get current on everything.
    Step 1: $1000 cash starter emergency fund
    Step 2: Debt snowball (pay off all non-mortgage debts from smallest balance to largest rolling payments from paid off debts to the next one – sell stuff and work second/third jobs to speed this up if necessary)
    Step 3: Save 3-6 months of expenses in the emergency fund
    Step 4: Save/invest 15% of gross (exclusive of any company matching in a 401k) towards retirement
    Step 5: Kids college fund (assuming you have kids)
    Step 6: Pay off the mortgage early
    Step 7: Build wealth and give a lot of it to charity.

  43. 43
    cybopob says:

    Since I can currently rent a house for around $2000, this is my monthly payment for owned house that I comfortable with. Not a penny more in a declining market.
    Yes, $2000 including mortgage, property tax and any other fees assotiated with it.

  44. 44
    ARDELL says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 41

    Haha love the last line. Even though I was right…I wasn’t right because. I am never “bullish” regarding residential real estate, as no one should buy…ever…without a compelling and very personal reason to do so. So it is never a great time to buy…but it is sometimes a very bad time to buy, regardless of that compelling personal reason to want to do so.

    Right now the balance is future pricing weighed against historically low rates. For a 10 year or more hold period…yes. 5 or less…no.

  45. 45

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 41:

    As I note in the link, the frequent changes of position make the information useless, even if it had been accurate, because you cannot get into and out of a real estate holding as quickly as say a stock.

    Ardell, apparently your inability to understand the English language extends to areas other than contracts. I did not say you were right.

  46. 46
    gr8day says:

    Trucker @42 –

    I have read about the baby steps and think they are great. I have some friends that lost good jobs (several times) and finally their house to the “correction”. They are late in their careers and trying to recover. They are adamant about the implementation of Dave Ramsey’s plan and say that it has helped them get back on their feet.

    I was keeping my post on topic – with the question of how much house would you buy if you were making 100K. According to Ramsey, total expenses should be 50% (of take home pay). So if you are making 100K, you are taking home about 80K. Then your total expenses would be about $40K. Using this as a guideline, one should be able to calculate what they could purchase keeping their specific situation in mind. Kids/school loans/car loans/misc debt/health situations etc.

    I thought the “fun” was high too. Then I started looking at the things that could go in “expenses” or could go in “fun”. School fees that are related to sports – that is “fun” IMO. Extra $50 to a charity – that is “fun” IMO. Neither of these is really an “expense”. (what about birthday presents…gas to visit extended family, they too could be “fun”) Plus, our family would need to save some of the monthly “fun money” to purchase airline tickets/Hotels if we wanted some “big fun” every year or two.

  47. 47

    By gr8day @ 29:

    Dave Ramsey has a radio show, and I was listening to him a few weeks ago. He has this advice:

    No debt except a house.

    Expenses – 50%
    Fun 30%

    That finally explains the behavior of Charlie Sheen.

  48. 48
    BubbleBuyer says:

    We bought our house which was 3.6X my gross annual income (3.0X with wife and my combined income) 4 years ago and I felt exposed since loss of my job would make the mortgage unaffordable. We have since paid down the mortgage principal and refinanced so the loan principal is now 1.7X my gross annual income (wife no longer works). I now sleep well at night because we could rent the place out and cover mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance. Also, if I lost my current job, I could get a job that pays half what I make now and we could still make the mortgage payment.

    I enjoy a good night’s sleep so I will say buy a house less than 2.5X your gross annual income and ideally, under 2.0X income. Unfortunately, this is often not possible in a high cost city like Seattle. There are some things worth losing sleep over but a house is not one of them.

  49. 49
    gr8day says:

    Kary-LOL!!!!!!

    Yes, I think that is what Charlie did.
    #1 He forgot the savings all together.
    #2 He probably changed the 30% fun to 50% fun. And when you are talking about millions…the only way to spend that much is to……well you know.

    Dave Ramsey would not approve. Charlie could have built wealth and then given it to charity.

  50. 50
    patient says:

    If you currently rent then forget the income. Think savings rate. Your monthly savings rate is a better guidance of what mortgate you can handle. I.e don’t take on mortgage expenses bigger than your current savings rate. And don’t count your rent as money to pay the mortgage with, you’ll need that money to retain a decent savings rate and for additional housing expenses.

  51. 51
    Azucar says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 47

    “That finally explains the behavior of Charlie Sheen.”

    I wouldn’t go that far… maybe it DESCRIBES it, but it would take more than that to EXPLAIN it…

  52. 52
    Tatiana Kalashnikov says:

    RE: ARDELL @ 17

    I must say that Ardell is so pretty! Is that allowed on the postings?? I am not sure. But please forgive me. I was just thinking out loud. Tatiana

  53. 53
    Macro Investor says:

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 52

    “I was just thinking out loud.”

    With a name like that, I’d say you were shooting your mouth off.

  54. 54
    Ken M says:

    RE: Ken M @ 22

    Also should add we max out 401k and Roth IRAs, plus my wife contributes 5% to her pension. So we are saving over $45k for retirement.

  55. 55

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