{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Hi Ladies! Personal finance question: looking to buy a place and I live in a HCOL city. If we spend 36% of our monthly salaries on mortgage and have 22% leftover after bills (one kid daycare costs etc). Does that sound reasonable?", "post_id": "616eebd46a2e86002b276e34", "reply_count": 2, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

Hi Ladies! Personal finance question: looking to buy a place and I live in a HCOL city. If we spend 36% of our monthly salaries on mortgage and have 22% leftover after bills (one kid daycare costs etc). Does that sound reasonable?

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For a frame of reference: I am also in a HCOL city and our mortgage, property tax, and homeowners insurance is a bit under 40% of our monthly take home. We don’t have an HOA fee. This doesn’t include our annual bonus so that’s our buffer. No kids yet. My recommendation is to look at all in housing costs, not just monthly mortgage. Depending on the home, you might have to account for more utilities (if it’s a bigger home), ADT security system monthly fee, monthly landscaping fee, etc. Home ownership is costly but rewarding!

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Seattleite here - And just aimed for something similar. I think if you have a healthy emergency fund and 3-4 months of mortgage saved up in case of my/partner job changes, I'd be comfortable with that. Also consider: Does it take away from things you REALLY want to do - i.e., travel a lot, buy nice things, or would you still be able to maintain the lifestyle you enjoy? Is the house in a neighborhood you love? Is 22% enough for you to save for retirement/the future/passion projects/fun? I rented for 3+ extra years because it ended up being 1/3 of the mortgage - and by the end the place was falling apart but I could pour more money into a down payment. Plus we tried out new neighborhoods with renting, I walked to work for awhile pre-COVID, and had fun with it! Now I am READY and definitely don't mind the inflated COL because it's a perfect spot and next step for us/helps us host more gatherings and have space to really live our best lives. Hope that helps!

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