Q: I am told that home owning is the single best investment a person can make. I would like to get started but am afraid that I will not be able to handle the mortgage payments on my own. Are there any tools out there that can help me calculate a budget that I will be able to afford, given my current salary?
There are many tools available to help you calculate what you can afford to spend on an apartment. Many mortgage calculation tools are readily available online. A good one, which automatically calculates how much you can afford, is available online at www.eloan.com : Home Affordability Calculator.
However, as a cautionary note, I always recommend buyers speak to a mortgage professional first rather than trust what is found online. You can always contact state and local boards of Realtors for lists of mortgage brokers in your area or ask your own real estate agent or friends for references.
Just recently I had a first-time buyer that was convinced she could only spend a certain amount per month. She had done much research online and was certain about her budget forecasting. I then had her meet with a mortgage broker and it's a good thing she did. As it turns out she was completely wrong and we were able to find her a different caliber of apartment for her.
Either way, if you do not have enough saved for a down payment, create a separate savings account and come up with a savings schedule. Only borrow what you can afford!!!