How to Determine Your Home Buying Budget: How Much Money Should You Save?

Are you dreaming of buying your own home but have no idea how much money you should save?

Determining your homebuying budget can feel overwhelming, but fear not! With some guidance, you can figure out exactly how much you need to save to make your dream of homeownership a reality.

Saving for a home is a big financial commitment, and it’s essential to understand your budget before you start house hunting. Luckily, there are several factors to consider when determining your home-buying budget, and I’m here to help you navigate them all.

In this article, I will walk you through determining your home-buying budget, from assessing your current financial situation to setting realistic savings goals. By the end, you’ll have a clear roadmap, ensuring you save enough money to purchase your dream home comfortably.

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or looking to upgrade, take advice from experts like Amrit Hunjan your favorite Edmonton realtor, to navigate the market successfully.

1. Examine Your Income

  • Gross Income: Review your total monthly income before taxes and deductions.
  • Net Income: Calculate take-home pay after all withholdings are removed from your monthly income.

 2. Evaluate Your Debt and Monthly Obligations

  • List all credit card balances and their respective monthly payments.
  • Account for monthly expenses such as utilities, subscriptions, and groceries.
  • Include fixed student loan payments in your financial outline.
  • Tally any outstanding debts, like car loans or personal loans.
  • Sum all obligations to grasp your monthly financial commitments fully.

3. Understand the 28/36 Rule

The 28/36 rule guides homebuyers in managing their budgets concerning monthly income.

No more than 28% should go towards housing costs, including mortgage payments and property taxes. Total debt payments shouldn’t exceed 36% of your monthly earnings, ensuring a balanced financial allocation.

4. Calculate Your Available Budget for Housing Expenses

Applying the 28% rule to your net monthly income when calculating your housing budget. This figure represents the maximum to spend on all housing-related expenses, ensuring your spending aligns with a responsible financial plan.

5. Factor in the Down Payment

The down payment is crucial; it varies based on loan type and payment requirements. As you save, don’t forget additional costs like closing fees and moving expenses, which can impact the initial amount needed to secure your home.

6. Save for Closing Costs

Closing costs are a significant part of your saving strategy, typically ranging from 2-5% of the home’s purchase price. Set aside funds for this expense to ensure a smooth transaction without financial strain.

7. Create an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund should cover 3-6 months of living expenses to protect against a financial emergency. It’s a safety net that can keep you afloat in unexpected scenarios like job loss or sudden repairs.

8. Consider Your Lifestyle

When defining your housing budget, reflect on your lifestyle, encompassing hobbies, travel, and leisure activities. Ensure your mortgage leaves room for the joys and pursuits that enrich your life, balancing a beautiful home and a fulfilling lifestyle.

9. Adjust for Future Changes

While crafting your monthly budget, factor in potential future expenses like career shifts, family planning, or education costs. Anticipating these changes can prevent financial stress and make your housing costs manageable.

10. Use Online Calculators

Utilize a Mortgage calculator to estimate monthly payments, incorporating variables such as price range, interest rates, and loan term. This tool helps you plan for expected and unexpected expenses, ensuring you stay within a comfortable spending limit.

11. Pre-Approval Process

The pre-approval process involves a mortgage lender evaluating your finances to determine how much they want to offer for a mortgage loan. It solidifies your budget and enhances your credibility as a buyer when negotiating a home purchase.

12. Factor in Maintenance and Utilities

When budgeting for a home, allocate funds for maintenance costs and utility bills. These recurring expenses are part of homeownership and should be included in your long-term financial planning to ensure you’re prepared for the total home cost.

13. Consult with Professionals

Seeking guidance from a real estate agent and financial advisors can clarify your financial standings. These professionals offer tailored advice to align your homebuying plans with your economic reality and long-term financial goals.

In Summary

  1. Evaluate your income and monthly debts.
  2. Apply the 28/36 rule to determine maximum housing expenses.
  3. Save for a down payment, closing costs, and an emergency fund.
  4. Be mindful of your lifestyle and future financial changes.
  5. Get mortgage pre-approval to understand your loan options.
  6. Remember additional homeownership costs like maintenance and utilities.
  7. Consult with financial professionals as needed.


Determining your home-buying budget is a crucial step in finding your dream home.

You can confidently embark on your home-buying journey by considering your financial situation, setting realistic goals, and saving diligently. Remember, it’s not just about the numbers but also about finding a place to create lasting memories.

So start saving, and soon enough, you’ll open the door to your new sweet home!