As you know one of our financial goals is to build our house down payment fund. We would like to get a mortgage and have a small house or town house just outside the city.

I was reading a Scrooge Strategy tip on calculating on your savings plan. We’ve been setting aside some money, but we didn’t have an end goal. I wanted to get an idea of the size of the down payment we should be saving for.

I decided to check around the web and see what the personal finance calculator gave as ballpark figures. I got conflicting opinions on how much house we can afford. I thought it was interesting  to share with you how different the numbers can be if you only rely on web financial calculators.

How We Ran the House Down Payment Numbers on the Web

We used the median American income of $50,233.00 for this post’s numbers to give you an idea of what we found. We used a down payment of  $10,000. The mortgage rate was based on an approximate FICO score of 750 and Bankrate’s estimate of our locality’s rate of 5.1% for a 30 year mortgage.

For property tax and home insurance, we used the national average of $3,500 and $481.

What the Financial Calculators Told Us on How Much House We Could Afford

Bankrate’s Calculator had us enter a lot of information regarding gross monthly income and new house information such as insurance and real estate tax.

It also asked about our current debt payments, of which we have a student loan payment of $189/month. It gave us a home price limit of $191,639.27 and a monthly mortgage of $986.21.

CNN Money’s calculator asked about gross annual income, down payment, insurance, property tax, and monthly debts. The results were given from a conservative amount of $164,775.52 to an aggressive amount of $203,324.97.

The total monthly payments (mortgages, taxes, and insurance) would be $1,172.10 to $1,381.41.

Quicken’s Loans Calculator did it a bit different from the others. It asked us which state we were looking in (North Carolina)and  how much we wanted the mortgage payments to be.

I entered our current rent ($724) and it told us we could afford a mortgage of $88,983 to $93,028 , depending on the size of our down payment (estimated from $8,090 to $12,134).

There’s a big difference between the numbers.

Figuring Out a House Down Payment Goal For Ourselves

After comparing what was up on the web calculators, it looks like what we think we’d want for a mortgage is considered conservative. Our goal is to keep our housing costs (mortgage, taxes, and insurance) no higher than 25% of our monthly income.

That would mean our mortgage would be around 2.5x our annual income. Looking at that number, we’re setting a goal of 10% down (more would be better).

How did you plan your house down payment?