Barrons Independent


How Much House Can I Afford With A $90,000 Salary Per Year?

It’s not easy to buy a home. There are several factors you must have to focus on before purchasing a house. Always focus on your financial situation and your monthly income after that decision.

How Much House Can I Afford With A $90,000 Salary Per Year?

Morgan Barrons

Nov 07, 2023

Affording a good house depends on your monthly expenses, and your annual salary doesn't matter. However, if you can't save money from your monthly income, which means your per-month expenses are equal to your monthly payment, you cannot buy a house. One thing that is compulsory for purchasing a home is that your expenses must equal 28% of your income or lower than 36% of your income.

Understanding Your Salary And Expenses

There are many people with an annual $90,000 net income, but they all must buy a decent house. The main scenario is that purchasing a house only depends on your monthly expenses; suppose your monthly salary is $7,500 and your monthly costs like your home expenses, car loans, student loans, debit or credit card expenses, etc., will exceed $7,500 or equal to $7,500 so which you can’t afford a decent house with the $90k. There is one formula or rule called the 28/36 rule. By following that rule, everyone might be able to afford a good house. Another important thing is that suppose your monthly expenses are low and you can afford a home, but for a better house, you must select a good location, and once you purchase a house, there are several kinds of taxes that you must pay. So before buying a house, always make sure that after purchasing a house, you can afford all monthly expenses because with the big house comes significant responsibilities. According to a rough estimate, a person with a $90,000 annual salary can buy a house in the range of $270,000 to $360,000 if he secures a 30% fixed-rate mortgage with a 20% down payment.

The 28/36 Rule In Home Buying

The 28/36 rule in home buying is essential because according to the 28 rule, your home expenses will not exceed 28% of your total monthly income, and according to the 36 rule, your expenses include home loans, car loans, student loans, and debit or credit card expenses must lower than your total monthly income. If someone fulfills the requirements of this rule, then that person can buy a decent house and also apply for any loan with a low down payment.

Pre-Approval And Why It Matters

Pre-approval is an essential step in home buying because it helps you know how much mortgage you can pay. ItIt depends on your financial conditions or annual budget, and most importantly, if you apply for pre-approval before buying a house, it will represent you as a serious buyer or seller. Otherwise, before applying for pre-approval, I recommend you find different lenders and apply for pre-approval with those and ensure you will get the lowest interest rate. Pre-approval matters the most in house buying because it helps you to find the mortgage amount according to your annual budget.

Down Payment Considerations

A down payment is the amount a home buyer pays before purchasing a house, representing the percentage of the total house price. The down payment of the house is approximately 20% of the total price you must pay before buying a home. There are two types of considerations: the first one is a lower down payment, and the second one is a high down payment. If you pay a premium down payment, then you have to pay a lower loan interest rate per month, and if you pay a higher down payment, then you must pay a higher interest rate. Paying a premium down payment is the best option because it will not make a significant impact on your monthly income. Otherwise, a higher interest rate will have a tremendous effect on your monthly payment.

Mortgage Types And Rates

There are two types of mortgages: fixed and adjustable mortgages, and the rates depend on financial circumstances. The mortgage rates affect your monthly income.

Fixed Mortgage:

The fixed mortgage is like the interest rate loan, which is almost set for a lifetime, but sometimes it’s just fixed for 15 to 30 years. The main benefit of a fixed mortgage is that if the interest rates become high, you would not be hit by these rates. If you want to buy a home for a long time, then it's the best option for you; otherwise, for the fixed mortgage, you must have to pay a high amount before buying a house. It's a better option because it will not hit your monthly income; however, your interest rate will remain unchanged for a lifetime.

adjustable mortgages:

The interest rate of adjustable mortgages is not fixed, and here, you must deal for some specific years. After completing the time, you must pay an interest rate according to new prices, and every six months, it will increase. The adjustable mortgage will affect your monthly income.

Additional Homeownership Costs

Owning a flat or home that has a mortgage on it is called homeownership. There are several kinds of costs to pay to be a homeowner, like mortgages, insurance, several taxes, and maintenance costs.

Property tax:

The government assesses the property taxes you must pay, and these taxes are different according to property location.


One of the most expensive things for homeowners is insurance, and it is essential to protect homes from any incident. The home insurance depends on the home location, size, and the provider of insurance that you choose.

maintenance costs:

It's essential to maintain your home, like upkeep of the roof, HVAC system maintenance, lawn care, etc. The maintenance cost of a home is too high because you will get unexpected maintenance work like roof leakage, etc.

The Impact Of Debt-to-Income Ratio

The debt-to-income ratio specifies that you are eligible for any loan, and the simple definition of debt-to-income ratio is to divide your monthly debt payments by your monthly income. The best ratio for debt-to-income is 40% to 43%, which means all your personal and upcoming mortgage expenses will cover 43% of your gross monthly income. With a High debt-to-income ratio, you are not eligible for any loan or mortgage, so a high debt-to-income ratio impacts your home buying. The lower debt-to-income ratio will help you to qualify for any loan or mortgage, and it will not affect your monthly income, and your expenses will not exceed 43% of your gross monthly income.

Location And Market Factors

Having a good place or location for a home will create several market factors. Firstly, the price of the area must increase, and also, the interest rate will increase, etc. If there is any good location, buyers must think before buying a house because the government will raise taxes on that place due to having a good site, and you must pay several taxes. It will affect your gross income, and on the other hand, having an excellent local, the price of the place will increase, then the interest rate will also increase. So now it depends on the location and which kind of house you can afford for $90,000.

How Much House Can I Really Afford?

It depends on several factors, like buying a house with a $90,000 annual salary, then you must fulfill the requirements of the 28/36 rule. On the other hand, buying a home requires a low debt-to-income ratio. Purchasing a home is not an easy task. It's too hard to decide because your financial condition and monthly expenses are the main factors. The rough estimate is that a person with a $90,000 annual salary can buy a house in the range of $270,000 to $360,000 if he secures a 30% fixed-rate mortgage with a 20% down payment. Before purchasing a house, focus on those factors because owning a home is difficult. It's a big responsibility.

Long-Term Financial Planning For Homeowners

Long-Term Financial Planning for Homeowners is good because they will get several benefits. These benefits improve your financial condition, increase the probability, etc., and most homeowners opt for long-term financial planning.


It’s not easy to buy a home. There are several factors you must have to focus on before purchasing a house. Always focus on your financial situation and your monthly income after that decision. The users can buy a decent place with a $90,000 annual salary if all expenses are below 36% of their total monthly income. The location also has a significant impact because a suitable site has several problems like high-interest rates and several kinds of taxes from the government.

More From Barrons Independent

Top Reads