How to avoid being house poor and what you can do if you are.

Avoid being house poor

What is the definition of house poverty? And how can you avoid becoming house poor? Well, it’s not just what you do; it's what you DON’T do that can make or break your house budget. It's painful to say, but a lot of information out there about homeownership can leave you house poor, financially worse off, and full of regret.

These are not half-truths and misplaced hopes. Instead, I am referring to bold exaggerations that are void of any reality check for how your life will unfold over the next few years.

Instead of upfront communication, you may find you get complete silence on basic questions such as…

  1. Can I afford a home like this?
  2. Are the monthly installments possible?
  3. Can I truly believe that this house can be found a better home if it is sold?

Many people are living in homes that they cannot afford, which is shocking. It is crucial to find out what being house-poor means before signing any legal documents.

What does it mean to be "house poor?"

What is it that makes a person "house-poor"? If you’ve been on the personal finance journey for a while, you’ll know that in most cases, buying a home is typically a good investment. In some cases, however, it may not be so.

This is because many folks can find themselves “house poor” if they don't tread carefully. Many people buy homes because they feel that a home is an investment. However, this may not be true in all cases. A person is considered house-poor if most of their monthly income goes towards the purchase or maintenance of their home.

The mortgage, maintenance, utilities and others are just a few examples. As a result, people in this situation find themselves with little to no wiggle room to take care of other regular expenses or to work on their savings goals. Also known as being House rich, cash poor

It may sound absurd, but anyone could easily find this place. When making decisions, we don't always rely solely on numbers. It is not enough to just consider the numbers when purchasing a home.

Some people might be motivated by the prospect of having children in the future and want a larger home. Or the fact that it’s in a trendy neighborhood that is expected to experience booming growth in the coming years may trigger the need to go big.

While numbers may tell one story but emotions can make a decision that is simple and direct to create a new reality. unaffordable level. You now know the definition of "house poor". Now let's talk about what happens when someone buys a home they don't really have the money for.

What happens when people buy homes they can’t afford

Regardless of whether you’re buying your first home, purchasing a vacation home, or buying a rental unit, you probably think of this as more of a property you own rather than as an investment, right?

Well… not if you want to avoid being house poor. From what I’ve observed, People who are successful in homeownership see their home as an investment right away..

That doesn’t mean that they don’t live in it and make it home, but instead, they approach their home with the mindset any investor would have when considering a property – one grounded in reality and based on numerical facts (not feelings).

They understand the financial consequences of living beyond what they are able to afford for their home. They do all they can to prevent that. House poverty can have real consequences, such as:

Your savings will be reduced if you are house-poor

Although it sounds noble to invest all of your resources in buying the home you want, this can lead to a loss in your savings. Do you need a new mattress? For that, you could end up in debt. Do you need your car replaced? For that, you could end up in debt.

Are your children required to attend college? For that, they will go into debt. Being house poor leaves you with no wiggle room to take care of life’s other day-to-day needs.

These changes could have a negative impact on your retirement savings goals

Certain retirement funds such as a Roth IRA allow you loan funds to yourself from your retirement account in order to purchase your first home.

And while it is nice to know that the option is there to fall back on, it can completely throw off your plans for retirement, especially if you don’t manage to pay back the loan.

If you’re having to consider borrowing against your retirement savings, you may have to ask yourself if you’re truly financially ready to make the purchase. This could be an indicator that you are not financially ready to make the purchase.

Being house poor impacts Other debts repaid

It is a good idea to include all monthly debts, including consumer credit card debt, into your budget prior to making a mortgage payment.

If you don't, it could be difficult to repay additional debts if your house is rich but you are cash poor. You will be unable to get debt free.

Being house poor can affect yOur overall life goals

On average, A mortgage loan can last up to 30 years. It's likely that the rest of your life will follow this path. You might still hope to travel, eat out from time to time or finally take the class you’ve been eyeing for a while.

You shouldn't let your mortgage stop you doing this. If done right, your mortgage should still allow you the freedom to pursue your other life interests – guilt-free. What are some ways to do this? You can do this by limiting how much of your take home pay you will contribute to your monthly mortgage payments.

Which percentage of your take home pay? Your mortgage should be?

Although a lender may run calculations that will determine your monthly budget, you are ultimately responsible for your numbers. You don't want to get too involved in the down payment on your home. Also, you need to ensure that you are able to afford your monthly mortgage payments.

There may be personal situations that you are not aware of to which your lender isn't privy. This could include your elderly parent's care or the out-of pocket health care costs you might have. Your lifestyle and personal characteristics, along with the cost associated with them might be overlooked by lenders.

Is it possible to live with only a couple thousand dollars each monthly in mortgage payments? Do you have the financial resources and willingness to change your lifestyle in order to pay a mortgage? Are you happy to continue living your normal lifestyle with the items you like spending money?

To calculate your monthly mortgage payments, lenders also use gross income. As the buyer, however, you can get a better idea of your income from working with it. This will allow you to see how much you need for your mortgage payment, taxes, insurance and bills.

What should your magic number be to pay your mortgage? There are generally two trains of thought on this – a conservative approach and a more liberal one.


Experts recommend this strategy. You should never pay more than 25% towards your mortgage payments. You'll have more money for unexpected expenses.

A more liberal approach

Experts in other fields advise you to You can use 35 percent of your income before taxes to pay for a mortgage. No matter what number you choose, make sure it represents the freedom or limitations you're comfortable with as you work to reduce your home.

Consider the following costs when purchasing a home

You should also consider other expenses that may be associated with your mortgage.


Utility costs are the expenses that homeowners can anticipate to incur. These include water, electricity and cable. They will not include them for you if a lender does.

It is a good idea to include these costs in your monthly budget.


Homeownership is not without its challenges. Regular wear and tear can cause some areas of your home to become uninhabitable over time.

These areas are important for homeowners and to preserve the property's value in the event of a sale.

If you’re house poor, your ability to cover these maintenance costs will be limited, potentially lowering the value of your home over time.

For planned communities, there are association fees 

You may be able to share the common areas of a condominium, such as lawns and pools. It is usually expensive to maintain these shared spaces.

A committee of association members will collect fees from residents. They also maintain the property for common use. They can quickly add up.

Moving in and décor

It is expensive to move into and decorate a home. To be able to adequately plan for your move, not only for the house purchase but also the moving costs.

For example, truck rentals, movers, etc. Also to actually be able to create a living space you enjoy once you’ve moved into it.

Six Tips to Avoid Being House Poor

These are some tips that will help you to avoid becoming house poor once you have figured out the costs of buying a home.

1. A larger down payment can help you avoid becoming house poor

A decent down payment will not only increase your equity but also reduce your monthly payments. Your interest rate can be reduced by putting more money down on your home.

You can potentially save thousands over the term of your loan. You can lower your rate. You will have a higher loan-to value ratio Your lenders will see it.

You are considered less risky, which means you will pay a lower interest rate. You can get loans with lower down payments. However, you want to save money on your mortgage and avoid getting house poor.

2. To avoid becoming house poor, you can buy a home that is more affordable

Some people decide to purchase A starter home is what it's called. This might not be the "dream home", but it is a way to get a mortgage and keep your house in good condition. It is important to evaluate our wants and needs in order to decide what our home really needs.

Consider whether you can afford a smaller house or one that is more expensive before you commit to buying. A smaller home can be used as a starter house, and you could either rent the property out to investors or buy it for an upgrade when you've saved enough money.

3. Before you buy your house, pay off any other debt

A great way to prevent becoming house-poor is to get rid of your debts before you buy a home. You can get a mortgage if your credit is not good. This will lower your mortgage interest rate.

You can save money for unexpected costs or to upgrade your home. Debt is expensive. To be financially independent, create a strategy for reducing your debt.

4. Make sure you have an emergency fund.

The hardest lesson for a homeowner is to not have enough money to repair your home. You can't fix something if all your money is spent.

You should also create an extra emergency fund for housing. You will be covered in the event of a major repair not covered by your insurance.

5. Budget with only one income

Budgeting on only one income is a great way to save money if you're buying a house with your spouse. You might be able to afford one payment, rather than having both.

You won't feel like you are losing your job.

6. Do not house hop

The act of house-hopping involves buying and living in a house for a short time while its value appreciates. Then, you move to another house.

House hopping is a way to make money, but people often forget about major expenses such as closing costs and realtor fees. These expenses can reduce any gains in short-term value. These costs should all be taken into consideration.

How to deal with house poverty

If you find yourself house poor today or if you’ve been forced into it through an unfortunate series of events, you can certainly find ways to make mortgage payments more manageable. These are just a few ideas:

1. Online selling of items you no longer need

You can sell items you don't need on eBay to make quick money. eBay Or Facebook Marketplace The extra cash can be used to cover your monthly payment.

You could even start a side-business selling used products online. The income can be used to grow your business or pay off your mortgage.

2. Look for a second job

It is not easy to have a side hustle. Sometimes, it can even be easier to land a second job. Look for opportunities in your region for extra work, either close by or remotely, so you can increase your income while still getting some rest.

3. Spend less 

For your success in the home-buying process, it is important to have a budget. With a budget, you’ll be able to easily track areas where you are spending above your means or areas where you have room to cut down costs.

4. Let a room of your house be rented

You can also find roommates to help you make money and get out of the house. You can charge rent and split the bill for electricity, cable, water, etc.

You can rent a room if you don't want someone sharing your home all the time. Airbnb. You can sometimes make more doing this if you have no one in your house 24/7. Actually, Hosting can bring in more than $500 per month for many individuals.. It's an impressive amount that could help you pay off your debts.

5. Reduce your house size

When all else fails, and you feel like you have no other option but to lose your home, it might be worth considering selling. Although it may seem extreme, if you are able to make a profit while downsizing into smaller homes, you will be able to reduce debt and avoid bankruptcy.

To be financially prosperous, avoid being house-poor

Bottom line: Being house-poor is something you can avoid. Just because a lender is willing to lend you a big chunk of change doesn’t mean you should take it. You have options.

It's okay to rent in the interim while you search for the right home. For more information about how to purchase your first house, click here Take a look at our totally free course This is the topic.

You will be guided through each step to ensure you are able to buy your first home.

Deja un comentario

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

Go up