JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: Just Because you can Afford it, doesn't mean you Should Buy IT

Just Because you can Afford it, doesn't mean you Should Buy IT

Columbia, SC Homes for Sale One of the first things I advise potential home buyers to do when searching for a home is to speak with a lender. This will help someone searching for a future home know where they need to start looking and what they can expect to get within their price range. If you're a first time home buyer, then chances are you will learn a lot from your talk with the lender.

 The next thing that I advise buyers on, is that just because you can be approved for a certain amount, doesn't mean you should spend that amount. In fact, you should never buy at the top of your range.

Columbia sc homes for sale

 It's very easy to get excited about the search for a new home, and I consider myself lucky to be in a career that affords me the right to see people experience that excitement. However, sometimes you to think rationally and your price range is the first place you can start that process. If you can be approved for $200,000, then you should think seriously about looking at homes in a lower price range and see what you come up with.

 Who knows, you may find a home that works just fine and costs $20,000 to $30,000 less than your top range. When you buy at the very top of your price range, you run the risk of being what people call house poor. That means you can afford your house, but not much else. So, what if your car breaks down or you have an emergency? It's always best to give yourself a little cushion in case you need it. You may never have a problem, but it's better to have it and not need it, than it is to need it and not have it.





JL Boney, III - Columbia, SC Realtor - Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

 I specialize in Columbia, SC real estate and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, SC, Kershaw County, Fairfield County, and Lexington, SC. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or any of the surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to speak with to see how I can help. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you.

Office- 803-788-1450     Cell- 803-730-9601     Email- James_Boney@Yahoo.com

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Comment balloon 15 commentsJL Boney, III • July 23 2009 10:50PM


The monthly budget....indeed comes into play for all.....if someone has great credit and a hefty down payment...of course they can get preapproved for something grand. But how much do they want to spend per month on a mortgage payment? Yup....it doesn't mean to buy it because they qualify...but if they're comfortable with the payment.

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 9 years ago


I would like to think that the days of stretching the spending limit to the extreme is gone for good. That's a big part of what got us into this mess!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 9 years ago

I had to actually talk a guy out of making an offer. He was stretching way hard to afford my listing. Sorry to all but I just couldn't do it. And I wasn't low balling the seller to see if they would bite. There home was worth every dime!

Posted by Chip Jefferson (Gibbs Realty and Auction Company) over 9 years ago

Mortgage poor is just plain poor. It is about the monthly payment.

Posted by Claude Cross, Charlotte NC Homes For Sale (Homes By Cross, Inc. ) over 9 years ago

Very good advice JL.  I still find lenders encouraging buyers to go to the max, and I'm stuck trying to rein them in.  When you add taxes, maintenance and an emergency fund, they sometimes get the picture!

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 9 years ago

JL -when I was a civilian, I walked away from realtors that kept trying to sell me up! Excellent advice.

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) over 9 years ago

JL- so right on. Buyers need this kind of advice!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) over 9 years ago

Sally- Budget is the key word.

Richard- I think you're right my friend.

Laura- I think you did the right thing for your client.

Claude- Yes it is.

Laura- You just have to paint the full picture, then it come in clear.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

Mike- I can't say that I blame you one that one.

Anna- I certainly think so.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

JL --- very good advice for buyers ---- they should not stretch themselves --- good for you and for Laura for the "great" sales people.

Mama Liz's Signature

Posted by Liz Loadholt, Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC (Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC) over 9 years ago

Liz- Never stretch yourself too thin, it's a recipe for disaster.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

JL - I often tell new buyers my story.  I was approved for a huge amount...way more than I was comfortable with.  I had a great job with a national company.  My significant other had a great job, too.  However, I knew that we wanted ultimately to be able to afford the home on one income, god forbid, something should happen,..death, divorce or disease.  So, I found a nice home that we could well afford, and it has brought us an enormous sense of joy, accomplishment and satisfaction.  And, we can sleep in it at night not worrying if we can make the payment even on my little realtor income.  A lot of ill has come from falling in love with beauty and having to deal with the beast.  IMHO. 

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) over 9 years ago

Suzanne- There's a lot to be said for being comfortable with your mortgage payment. You never know what the future holds, so it's best not to stretch yourself to the max.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

Hi JL-This is definitely sage advice and if all folks would give and take that advice there would be a lot less foreclosures. There is nothing as comforting as knowing you have money in the bank and are not stretched beyond your means. Great post my friend. <SMILE>

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) over 9 years ago

Sharon- People need to know what they can truly afford, not what they can be approved for.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago