How Homebuyers Can Save Despite Plummeting Affordability

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

A new report says it now takes 22 percent of median income to pay monthly housing costs, the highest level since 2010. We've got tips that can help you save in this challenging market.

No, it’s not your imagination: Homes really are getting more expensive.

Rising mortgage rates mean it now takes 22.2 percent of median income to purchase the median-price home, according to a report released this week by Black Knight Financial Services. That makes homes less affordable today than they have been at any time in the past half-dozen years.

Black Knight says the amount of cash necessary to buy a home — which includes the amount of money it takes to pay monthly principal and interest — jumped 10 percent in the last quarter of 2016 alone.

If you plan to look for a home in 2017, such soaring costs can feel discouraging. But if you take a few smart steps, you can still afford the home of your dreams.

For starters, with mortgage rates on the rise, you need to look for every advantage possible in both securing a low mortgage rate and making yourself more attractive to sellers.

Raising your credit score is among the most important things you can do. As we have explained in the past:

With a score of 745, you’re near the top of the 700-759 range. With effort, you might gain enough points to move into the highest category, 760-850, giving you access to lower interest rates.

Wondering how to raise your score? Check out “7 Fast Ways to Raise Your Credit Score.”

Another important step is to make sure you are preapproved for a home loan, which helps boost your odds of getting a good deal on the home you want. As we have noted:

By preapproving your loan, the bank provides a conditional commitment to lend you up to a specified amount. That can impress sellers and help you when you’re competing with other buyers for a home.

For more tips, check out “9 Golden Rules of Mortgage Shopping.”

Also, do not ignore other ways to lower costs beyond your monthly mortgage payment. As we have pointed out:

While you’re investigating rates, don’t forget the fees. Many mortgages come packed with fees of all kinds. Some — such as your county recording fee — are likely fixed, but others are negotiable.

Learn more in “The 6 Worst Mortgage Mistakes You Can Make.”

Finally, once your ducks are in a row, compare lenders to ensure you are getting the best rate. You can find the best mortgage rates in our Solutions Center.

Do you have other tips for getting a great deal on a home loan? Share them by commenting below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 8 Ways to Get Your FICO Score for Free

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,059 more deals!