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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?