Phil Aitken
Phil Aitken
Owner/Broker

How Do I Determine My Budget to Buy a Jacksonville Home?

Planning to buy a home in Jacksonville, Florida? If so, you might be wondering how to determine your budget. Setting a budget and sticking to it is essential for a successful home-buying experience. 

In this post, Phil Aitken and our real estate experts at Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Phil Aitken Home Team will cover everything you need to know about determining a budget for a new home.

Key Takeaways:

  • It’s generally recommended to spend no more than 28% of your income each month on housing costs, which include your mortgage, property taxes, and insurance.
  • The average down payment ranges between 10% to 15%. In general, a higher down payment of at least 20% can get you more favorable mortgage terms.
  • Working with real estate professionals is the best way to get an accurate home-buying budget because they provide expert guidance tailored to your exact situation. 

How Do I Determine My Budget to Buy a Home?

Understanding Your Finances

The first step to setting a budget is assessing your finances. Calculate your gross monthly income, which is your total pay before taxes or deductions. Understanding your take-home pay is crucial, as lenders use this amount to determine the monthly mortgage payment you can afford.

You’ll also need to review your existing debts, including how much you pay towards your debts each month. 

It’s generally recommended to spend no more than 28% of your income each month on housing costs, which include your mortgage, property taxes, and insurance. It’s also a good idea for your total debt expenses, including housing costs, to not be higher than 36% of your income.

Understanding Key Home Buying Expenses

When determining a budget, you’ll need to understand the central costs associated with buying a home:

  • Down Payment: The average down payment ranges between 10% to 15%. In general, a higher down payment of at least 20% can get you more favorable mortgage terms. If you’re a first-time buyer, consider down payment assistance programs and other financing opportunities.
  • Monthly Mortgage Payments: The amount you pay on your mortgage each month will depend on your down payment amount, your loan type, your loan terms, the price of the home, and your budget. Make sure your monthly payments stay within the 28% guideline for your monthly income.
  • Closing Costs: As a home buyer, closing costs usually run between 2% to 5% of the home’s purchase price. Some of these costs are appraisal fees, title insurance, mortgage underwriting fees, credit report fees, escrow fees, and home inspection fees.

Consider Home Ownership Expenses 

It’s important to budget for the additional expenses you’ll have to handle as a new homeowner:

  • Property Taxes: Property tax rates change each year, depending on local government policies. For Jacksonville, the property tax rate outlined in the 2023 to 2024 budget is a mill rate of 11.3169. So for every $1,000 of the assessed value of a property, homeowners can expect to pay around $11. For the latest property tax information in Jacksonville, be sure to check the Duval County Property Appraiser website.
  • Homeowners Insurance: The amount you pay in homeowners insurance will depend on the exact policy you get and any requirements your lender has. In Jacksonville, the average cost is $2,100 annually, or $175 each month.
  • HOA fees (if applicable): HOA fees vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Be sure to understand the cost before moving to a particular community. In Jacksonville, the average HOA fees range from $220 to $370.
  • Regular Maintenance: Generally, it’s a good idea to set aside 1% to 3% of your home’s value each year for routine maintenance expenses.

Work with Professionals

Working with real estate professionals is the best way to get an accurate home-buying budget because they provide expert guidance tailored to your exact situation. 

One essential step to determining a budget is applying for mortgage pre-approval from a lender. During the pre-approval process, the lender will evaluate your finances and estimate the loan amount you can receive, helping you form a realistic budget and guiding your house-hunting experience. 

Additionally, realtors offer valuable insights into market conditions and property values, which can also help you determine a budget. Together, these professionals can help you find a home you can comfortably afford.

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Set a Budget For Your Dream Home in Jacksonville Today 

Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Phil Aitken Home Team. How Do I Determine My Budget to Buy a Jacksonville Home?
Phil Aitken

At Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Phil Aitken Home Team, Phil Aitken and our team have been rated as the best realtor in Jacksonville. We’ve been in the business for many years and have helped hundreds of clients buy their dream homes in Jacksonville, including many first-time buyers. 

We make the home-buying process easy and risk-free thanks to our Buyer Satisfaction Guarantee, which ensures you end up with a home that meets your budget and preferences. 

Have more questions about buying a home in Jacksonville with our team? Give us a call at (904) 544-5252 or send a message to [javascript protected email address]. You can also fill out the form on this page. Get ready to start packing!

To Discuss Your Home Sale or Purchase, Call or Text Today and Start Packing!

Phil Aitken, Owner/Broker
Phil Aitken is the Owner/Broker with Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty - Phil Aitken Home Team and has over 13 years of Real Estate experience. Phil’s faith and desire for his family’s continued security fuel his business growth and leadership. The Phil Aitken Home Team continues to profoundly impact the people of Jacksonville via supporting several faith-based organizations. Phil gives back a portion of every real estate transaction to The Tim Tebow Foundation and Rethreaded. Find Phil's full story here.