Question: We are a young couple thinking of buying a house. Our income is about $36,000 a year. In what price range should we be looking?
Answer: Figure that you can probably obtain financing for a house priced at roughly three or four times your annual income. You should look for a home between $105,000 and $140,000.
I would make sure that you have a good financing deal. Lower interest rates are not necessarily the answer. Try to find a good, legitimate rate, either guaranteed or variable, that will allow you to handle the payments.
The amount of housing appreciation or inflation at present is virtually non-existent. Thus, there are quite a few good buys available.
For young people, a solid investment in the future that involves housing, is a wise one. You should remember that what is ultimately important is not the expense or the size of the unit, but that you actually secure your own home.
Over the years, the home will appreciate, and much of the interest you will be paying will be subsidized by the government by way of tax deductions. You will find yourself in a position to upgrade yourselves by remodeling and expanding the existing home that you first purchased or by selling and re-purchasing.
The key elements are that you buy something affordable, and that you arrange payment terms with which you can live. Avoid gimmicks, such as low down payments for the first two years, with higher payments later.