Real Estate – Part B (Example of Buying a House)

The Many Ways to Earn Money
AKA “Multiple Streams of Income”
The Mini-Series

Real Estate – Part B: Buying a House

Real Estate: Wikipedia defines Real estate as a legal term (in some jurisdictions, such as the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and The Bahamas) that encompasses land along with improvements to the land, such as buildings, fences, wells and other site improvements that are fixed in location — immovable.  A more common term to be used in this discussion is Real property. This refers to land and the improvements made by human efforts—buildings, machinery, the acquisition of various property rights, and the like.

Real property is also termed realty, real estate, and immovable property.

A house fits the definition of “Real Property”. There are two types of house properties: the first is the typical one – you are going to live in the house; the second is typical, too but is quite a bit different for your investment portfolio – you are not going to live in the house but you are going to lease it to someone else and they will pay you something to live in the house.

We are going to do an exercise on buying a house you to live in.

(We will be using each of the terms in “PITI”.  If you need refreshing, see the previous post.)

  1. We need to determine based on our monthly income and expenses what we can afford each month to pay the mortgage (PITI).
    1. Gather all personal information:
      1. Income: Need from borrower and co-borrower: net from pay stubs, interest and dividends, child support, alimony, trust fund payments, income from rentals, income from bonuses or incentives, etc.
      2. Expenses:  Need from borrower and co-borrower: groceries and eating out, entertainment, utilities, clothing, telephone, internet, credit cards, student loans, car loans, loans, automobile expenses, maintenance, charity, cable TV, travel, etc.  We do not include what we are currently paying for housing.
  2. Calculate the difference between Income and Expenses.  This can be adjusted, but we will use this number to determine what we can comfortably pay each month for our new house payment.
  3. We also need more information.
    1. Property Taxes (T).  Call the County Officials in the county where we wish to buy and get the mil levy (mil = 1/1000).  This rate determines our property tax (T).
    2. Homeowner’s Insurance (I).  Call a reputable insurance company and ask what their monthly rate would be on homes in the area.
    3. Mortgage Interest Rates (I):  Talk to a mortgage broker or bank, check out web sites, Google it, etc.  There are a myriad of web sites that will let us know what the current interest rates are and what the trends are.

The easiest path to buying a home is to get pre-qualified.  This will allow us the information about what price range we can look at when shopping.  (Note:  Web sites make this part simpler.  They are listed at the end of the example.)

Sample Income:  From Item 1, our working monthly income is $4,500.

Sample Expenses:  From Item 2, our monthly expense is $2.800.

What we have to use for monthly house payments is $1,700 for PITI

The interest rate we found was around 5.00%

The mil levy we will use is 11.00.  For a starting point let’s calculate a monthly tax of:

Annual Tax = (11.00/1000) x $325,000 = $3,575.  Monthly = $280.

Now we have $1,700 – $280 = $1,420 for PI.

We talked to a few insurance agents and found an average home owner’s policy costs about $720 a year or $60 per month.

Now we have $1,420 – $60 = $1,360 for PI (Principal and Interest)

We now have to do some math. NOT, we’ll go the easier way. Go to

  1. Start by entering the home price – say, $300.000
  2. Set the mortgage term – say, 30 years or 360 months
  3. Enter the interest rate we found – 5%
  4. Click on “Calculate” button.  It should say $1,610.46 per month.

Whoa!  That is more than we can afford each month.  But we forgot something:  we can use some of our hard earned savings, or we can get a family loan.  This is called a down payment or payment at closing.  Let’s say we have about $20,000 for a down payment.

Alright, back to the web site.

  1. Back to 1 and enter $280,000.
  2. Click on “Calculate” again.  It now says $1,501.10.  Still too high.
  3. Let’s play with this and see what the PI needs to be to let us comfortably afford $1,360.00 per month.
  4. After some iteration a PI of $253,300 would let us have a PI payment of $1,359.77.  Can round up to $1,360.


We can look for a home in the range of $273,300 ($20,000 + 253,300).

Monthly house payment (PITI) will be about $1,700 ($1,360 + $280 + $60).

You should use this example to see what your numbers are.  Do it a few times.  Doing this is not required, but it will give you the information you should have when you talk to real estate agents and mortgage bankers.

Helpful Web-Sites:

QuickenLoans Mortgage Options

Lending Tree

Google Compare Mortgages.

Coming Soon:

The Next in the Series: Real Estate – Part C: Rentals!

Previous Articles in this Series:


About Gary

I am retired, but not tired. I still want to be valuable to others. I know that others are valuable to me. After looking back on six decades, I have asked myself this question: “What do I believe?” My mind filled up. My heart started beating faster. My spirit soared. I post blogs to share what my mind is working on, what my heart believes would help others and, what my spirit is communicating to me. What do I believe, you ask? Decisions dictate your path In love, not hate In tolerance, not prejudice In health, not sickness In wealth, not poverty In kindness, rudeness In happiness, not sadness In encouragement, not discouragement In faith, not doubt In courage, not fear I have been and will be challenged in each one of these beliefs, but the biggest belief is to stay positive and not turn negative. This belief helps me maintain all of the others.

3 comments to Real Estate – Part B (Example of Buying a House)

  • Hi, Good content throughout the site. This post iswhere I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. I also like this layout can you tell me where to get it

  • Tom Tom

    The layout is built from scratch and I don’t have any plans for releasing it. Sorry! Maybe in the next few months I’ll post a tutorial on this site on how to build your own wordpress theme.

  • Felicia

    My husband and I are currently in the “sit and wait” stage of first time home buying. This article was really helpful in determining what payment would be good for us and for knowing what most of the charges would be. We are getting an FHA loan and the latest required charge is called private mortgage insurance.

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