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New Realtor.com Buying Power Tool Shows What Homes Are Affordable Based on the Buyer's Finances

August 04 2022

With interest rates constantly changing and home prices at all-time highs, understanding what you can afford has never been more important. To give buyers a more objective view of their budget, Realtor.com has introduced a new buying power tool to help home shoppers see whether a specific home is "affordable," "a stretch," "difficult" or "out of reach." It uses a home a shopper's specific financial details, current mortgage rates, taxes, insurance and HOA fees to determine if the monthly payments will be comfortable.

rdc Buying Power Tool

Buying power labels now appear directly on home listings on Realtor.com, making Realtor.com the first national home search site where shoppers can filter their search by selecting their desired affordability range.

Recent Realtor.com surveys found that more than two-thirds (68%) of shoppers were surprised by what they could actually afford for their first home. Additionally, 32% of recent buyers found it difficult to understand how changing mortgage rates affected their monthly payments and 62% were surprised by closing costs. Realtor.com's affordability calculator and buying power tool can help prevent these unhappy surprises during the home buying process.

"There is nothing more disappointing than falling in love with a home only to realize that you can't afford it, and nothing more exciting than realizing you can afford that dream home. However, there are many factors that go into affordability," said Colleen Coyle, vice president, product management, Realtor.com. "We introduced this tool to help shoppers better understand how much home they can afford and if specific homes fit their budget given their personal financial situation. This tool is especially important right now with rising interest rates – which can add hundreds of dollars to monthly payments and impact buying power."

A home's affordability is more than just the asking price. Many first-time home buyers don't realize the added costs of things such as HOA fees, taxes and insurance, not to mention closing costs, which can really add up. Realtor.com's new buying power features give home shoppers the opportunity to input their monthly income, debt payments and savings to determine their budget. Users can save this information to their buyer profile and then search only for homes that fit that budget.

To calculate buying power, buyers can visit the Realtor.com affordability calculator and enter their income, monthly debt payments and available funds. By saving this information to their profile, listings on Realtor.com will include an affordability label – "affordable," "a stretch," "difficult" or "out of reach." Users can also filter their search by homes that are within their desired affordability range.

Learn more here.