Buying a House: How Much Can You Afford?

By Ronda Kaysen

…When the housing bubble burst and it became clear that lenders were handing out mortgages with their eyes closed, many banks tightened their lending practices. Buyers suddenly were being asked to show stellar credit ratings and lay out 20% of the price of the home as a down payment. But, five years later, as the housing market heats back up again, some banks are loosening the reins and once again offering buyers sweeter deals. For buyers who were shut out of the mortgage business for the past five years, the ability to buy is suddenly real again. But, just because a bank thinks you can afford a multimillion-dollar house doesn’t mean it’s a wise financial choice…

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