A quick tour of Brevard County will make it pretty clear that this part of Florida is packed with beautiful homes. It would be understandable, then, if you quickly decided this isn’t the type of place you could afford. However, start by addressing your budget and you’ll find that just about anyone can find a beautiful home that won’t break the bank.
First, begin by adding up the amount of money you and your spouse bring in together. Whatever you do, don’t base this on how much you expect to make this year. If your paycheck involves commission or is otherwise one that fluctuates, take a two-year average.
Next, you can’t proceed without considering your monthly expenses. This will take a little more work as you’ll really need to go back over the past 24 months or so to find out what you’re spending. You can’t just take last month and think this will provide you with an accurate portrait of your costs.
Your monthly expenses aren’t just for gas, groceries, utilities, cable, etc. Track where every dollar goes. This includes your retirement funds, college funds for your kids, insurance and any other costs that you are charged for.
For those of you who won’t be paying cash for your home, you’ll want to keep your mortgage payment—including your property taxes and insurance—to less than 25% of your household’s monthly revenue.
Of course, buying a home in Brevard County means more than just making a monthly mortgage payment. You will also have to budget for HOA fees, furniture and décor, maintenance and repair costs, lawn care and more. These costs will obviously go to your monthly expenses. Many will have to add gas for a longer commute, mowing a larger yard and greater utility bills for their bigger home.
Finally, look ahead into the future. Will you be having a child anytime soon? If so, you’ll need to add up the associated costs and cut money from the mortgage you can afford to pad your budget as necessary.
Long before you ever start saving for a new home in Brevard County, you want to take time to make a sensible budget you can live with. Otherwise, the perfect house could soon become a liability you hate thinking about.