What is your Debt to Income Ratio?

Debt-to-Income Ratio Affects Approval & the Interest Rate

Debt-to-Income ratio is a tool that lenders use to qualify buyers for a mortgage and is an important factor in determining loan approval.  It provides an indication of the amount of debt that a potential borrower is obligated to in relation to how much income they have.

Total monthly debts are determined by adding the normal and recurring monthly debt payments such as monthly housing costs, car payments, minimum credit card payments, personal loan payments, student loans, child support, alimony, and other things.

By dividing the monthly income into the monthly debt, you arrive at a percentage of the monthly income.  Lenders actually look at two different ratios commonly called the front-end and the back-end.

The front-end ratio is the proposed total house payment including principal, interest, taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance if required, and homeowner association fees.  Lenders generally don’t want these expenses to be more than 28% of the monthly gross income.

The back-end ratio includes the same items that are in the front-end ratio plus any other monthly obligations like the ones mentioned earlier.  Lenders prefer to see this ratio not to exceed 36% of monthly gross income but some lenders may extend that to 43%.  Borrowers obtaining an FHA mortgage might also be allowed an even higher back-end ratio.

If a borrower had $8,000 monthly gross income, their proposed house payment should not exceed $2,240 or 28% of their monthly gross income.  Then, their house payment and monthly debt should ideally not exceed $2,880 or 36% of their monthly gross income.

For the sake of an example, let’s say that their monthly debt was $900.  That would only leave $1,980 for the maximum house payment.  The monthly debt became a limiting factor affecting the house payment.

In addition to determining whether the buyer qualifies for the mortgage, it could affect the interest rate.  Having good credit and having the proper ratios can result in being approved for a mortgage.  On the other hand, if the debt is on the upper side of an acceptable range, the lender may charge a higher interest rate for the addition risk of a marginal borrower.

While the math is not difficult to come up with your ratios, it is not necessarily a do-it-yourself project.  A trusted lending professional can assess your situation and give you an accurate picture of what price home you can afford and the rate you can expect to pay.

Both things are important to know before you start looking at homes and especially before you contract for one.  All lenders are not the same.  Call me to get a recommendation of a trusted mortgage professional who specializes in the type of mortgage you want. Download this FREE Buyers Guide.

If you would like any professional residential Real Estate advice, contact us at Paramount Real Estate Services.  1008 12th St. SE Salem, OR 97302  503-851-1645

Also, to mobilize us right away to help you move, visit us here:



How much are Buyer’s Closing Costs?

Buyer’s Closing Costs

Ideally, each party will pay their own closing costs associated with the purchase and the sale of a home, but they can be negotiable based on lender requirements and market conditions.

The fees are usually paid at the settlement and will be itemized on the closing statement.  Buyers should be aware of them before contracting for a home.  If a mortgage is involved, the lender will want to verify that the borrower has ample funds available at closing to pay for them.

Buyer’s closing costs can range between two to five percent of the sales price.  The real estate agents should be able to give you an estimate of what a buyer can expect.  The most accurate estimate will come from the lender at the time the loan application is made. They may or may not include other fees that will be charged to buyers by the title or escrow company.

Buyers are required to be provided a standard Closing Disclosure form at least three business days before the loan closing date.  This document will include the loan terms, estimated monthly payments, loan fees and other charges.  This can be compared to the loan estimate provided by the lender when the application was made.

Fees connected to a mortgage

Loan origination fee … This is the lender’s fee for processing the mortgage application.  It can vary in amount but typically, it can be one percent of the mortgage amount.  It may be possible to negotiate this fee into the rate of the mortgage.

VA funding fee … This is a fee charged to the veteran for closing the loan.  It can be paid in cash or rolled into mortgage.  The amount is based on the status of the veteran, their down payment and whether they have had a VA loan before.

Appraisal … This is a fee paid for a licensed appraiser to determine the value of the property.  It validates that the mortgage will not exceed the purchase price and that the buyer has enough down payment based on the type of mortgage applied for.

Attorney fee … This fee is charged to ensure that the legal documents are drawn properly so the lender will have an enforceable mortgage.  It is not for legal representation of the buyer.

Discount points … A point is one percent of the mortgage.  These fees are considered prepaid interest and can be used to adjust the interest rate on the mortgage.

Lender’s title insurance … This coverage insures that the lender has an enforceable lien from title claims on the property.  This policy is usually issued in connection with an owner’s title policy and is priced separately.

Mortgage insurance … Most loans made in excess of 80% of loan to value require mortgage insurance to protect the lender from loss if the property must be foreclosed on.  There is no mortgage insurance requirement on VA loans. FHA mortgage insurance premium has two parts.  There is an up-front charge of 1.75% of loan amount and then, a monthly amount which is added to the payment.  Conventional loans usually collect the first month’s premium in advance and subsequent amounts are rolled into the mortgage payment.

Recording fees … These are fees that are for filing the legal documents with the municipal or county recorders.  The documents would include the mortgage and the deed.

Survey fees … This fee is necessary, based on requirements of the lender, to verify property lines, shared fences and driveways and to identify any other encumbrances.

Underwriting fee … This is a separate fee that covers the research and determination that the entire loan package meets the lender’s requirements.

Fees required by mortgage for escrow account

Property taxes … Lenders can require two to three months taxes to be held in escrow so that there will be enough to pay them in full 60 to 90 days before they are due.

Property insurance … Insurance is paid in advance and the annual premium will be due at closing.  The lender further requires one additional month’s amount so that one month prior to the anniversary date, the premium can be paid for the renewal.

Flood insurance … The lender may require flood insurance on the property based on their assessment of the location in a flood zone or proximity to a flood zone.

Fees connected to purchase of a home

Settlement fee … This is the buyer’s portion of the fee paid to the title or escrow company, or attorney who handles the closing of the sale.

HOA Fee … Home Owner Association fees are usually paid in advance by the owner.  They are prorated at closing for the amount paid that the seller does not benefit from.

Owner’s Title insurance … This coverage insures that the buyer, the new owner, received clear and marketable title from the seller.  It will protect the new owners’ interests should they be challenged.  Even though it may not be required, it is recommended.

Pest inspection … A pest inspection by a licensed exterminator can be required by a buyer to determine if there are active termites or termite damage, dry rot or another pest infestation.

Property inspection … A home inspection conducted by a professional can be required to determine structural integrity of the property as well as all the systems in the home.  It can include but not be limited to plumbing, electrical, roof, heating and air conditioning, appliances and other things.

Title search … Sometimes, title companies waive this fee when an owner’s title policy is issued.  It can be customary that a separate fee is charged in addition to the premium for the title insurance.

Transfer taxes … When government taxes are required, these fees must be collected.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders and other financial companies treat the public fairly.  You can download a Closing Disclosure Explainer from their website.

If you would like any professional residential Real Estate advice, contact us at Paramount Real Estate Services.  1008 12th St. SE Salem, OR 97302  503-851-1645

Also, to mobilize us right away to help you move, visit us here:



Brian & Nina (Paramount Real Estate Services) First Video Promotion-2009

We are so excited to be coming on to our 10 year anniversary here at Paramount Real Estate Services!  We dug through the archives to find this gem back in 2009!


Real Estate Numbers Rise for 2013

Existing Home Sales for the nation rose substantially for 2013 giving us the highest numbers that we’ve seen for 7 years.  This is encouraging to say the least, however, many factors still plague our country and the health of our economic recovery.  The United States needs to see more than the 70,000-200,000 private jobs created each month for us to have a strong economic recovery.  It is understood that the national unemployment rate dipped below 7%, but let’s be honest here.   Many people have left the workforce causing this number to look more attractive than it really is.  Many more people need to get back to work and be able to make attractive wages before our economy is not struggling on life support.

Regardless of how our overall economy is, people still need to find homes to live in.  We have witnessed the largest economic correction that the US has had in decades and people still find ways to buy their own home.  This is the resilience and creativity of the American people, which is what should be celebrated.  People are doing what they can to scratch and crawl their way to lending approval because they know the importance of owning their own home.  Taking advantage of the amazingly low interest rates is a strong motivator as well.  Allowing interest rates to rise before locking in that rate will cost a home buyer thousands of dollars over the term of their loan or the time they own the home.  As interest rates continue to rise through 2014, the buyers who are able to purchase now will be the ones creating more of their own wealth over time.  http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000

Beautiful Log Home near Salem Oregon!

SPORTSMANS PARADISE! On the way to the Cascade Mountains, Hoodoo Ski Resort, Elkhorn Golf Course, Detroit Lake, and Central Oregon.  This Beautiful Log Home sits on a parklike setting of over 4 acres across the road from the little North Fork River of the Santiam River! Seasonal creek and pond, small barn, fenced pasture, small orchard, and shed.  This home is very well kept with A/C, open kitchen to dining area, Living Room with wood stove and large windows throughout letting in plenty of light. Lower level can be huge master suite with beautifully updated bathroom, living area, library, walk in closet, exercise area and private office. Solid cedar logs refinished and sealed.  Enjoy fishing, hiking, hunting, skiing and all other outdoor activities near your own Log Home!  Visit our Virtual Tour here:  https://sites.google.com/site/25758taylorparkrd/

5407 Burbank St N Keizer Oregon

5407 Burbank St N

Keizer, OREGON 97303
Price: $175,000

4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms
1568 Square Ft

Listing # 651363

Great one story home with open kitchen, dining room & living room. 4th bedroom is at the front of the home. Would make great office. Master is nice sized with WIC. A great starter home.
For additional information about this 1,568 Square Foot, 4 Bedroom, 2 Bath property located in Keizer, Oregon, please fill out the Request More Information form.


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Listing courtesy of KNIPE REALTY NW, INC.

5439 Brookwood St S Salem Oregon

5439 Brookwood St S
Salem, OREGON 97306
Price: $155,000

3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms
1249 Square Ft

Listing # 651366

Very clean, move in ready home in South Salem. Tile entry. Fenced yard. New 50 year roof in 2008. Also gutters 2008! Underground sprinklers.
For additional information about this 1,249 Square Foot, 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath property located in Salem, Oregon, please fill out the Request More Information form.


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719 Hazeltine St SE Salem Oregon

719 Hazeltine St SE
Salem, OREGON 97306
Price: $237,400

4 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms
2894 Square Ft

Listing # 651356

Large and spacious Creekside Home. Formal living and dining rooms. Family room opens to the kitchen. All 4 bedrooms and laundry room upstairs. The den is on the main floor. Huge master suite w/WIC, and master bath includes double sinks and Jacuzzi tub. Landscaped yard with sprinkler system. Backyard has Trek Deck. Garage has loft for extra storage. Great value in top rated neighborhood!
For additional information about this 2,894 Square Foot, 4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath property located in Salem, Oregon, please fill out the Request More Information form.

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Listing courtesy of ERA NORTHWEST PROF REALTY.

1818 Olympia Av NW Salem Oregon

1818 Olympia Av NW
Salem, OREGON 97304
Price: $599,900

4 Bedrooms, 3.5 Bathrooms
5632 Square Ft

Listing # 651358

Seller Financing Available! Not Bank Owned, Not a Short Sale! Style & Quality Everywhere in this Loaded Custom Home. Features 2-Story Great Room, Huge FR w/Bar, Soundproof Theater Room, Bonus Room, Gym Room, Office w/Built-Ins & Hidden Safe Room, Open Staircase. Kitchen Boasts Sub-Zero/Wolf Appliances, Double Ovens & Dishwashers. Emergency Generator System. Outdoor Terraced Lot, Oversized Double Garage & Huge, Single Garage w/Shop behind, Kennel & RV Space. One Year Home Warranty. Move In Ready!
For additional information about this 5,632 Square Foot, 4 Bedroom, 3.5 Bath property located in Salem, Oregon, please fill out the Request More Information form.


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Listing courtesy of GORILLA REALTY.

381 Sunset Av N Keizer Oregon

381 Sunset Av N
Keizer, OREGON 97303
Price: $265,000

3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms
2040 Square Ft

Listing # 651244

Recent remodel on this classic charmer created a great room with lots of natural materials including slate, oak and travertine. Spacious master & extra bedroom & huge bathroom upstairs. Full basement with lots of useable space. All on almost a half acre. Alley access to the backyard, perfect for a shop set up or check with the city about the possibility to divide. Great possibilities!
For additional information about this 2,040 Square Foot, 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath property located in Keizer, Oregon, please fill out the Request More Information form.


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1008 12th St. SE Salem
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