# Understanding Total Housing Expense

Susan Kelly

Apr 12, 2022

A mortgage's cost is usually composed of principal and interest payments. Certain mortgages also include escrow accounts which provide property tax payments and mortgage insurance (PMI). But other expenses for homeowners must be accounted for in the process of obtaining a mortgage. The total housing costs can cover many costs like utility bills, bills, insurance premiums, taxes, and direct mortgage expenses. The total expenses for housing are usually required when applying for credit to obtain mortgage loans. The borrower's total home expenses ratio determines these costs. Loan underwriters may also demand that borrowers give details about their total debt, determined by a borrower's debt-to-income ratio.

## How Total Housing Expense Works

You're looking to purchase a home for your vacation with your family. The mortgage you currently have costs \$1200 per month, and you, as well as your spouse, earn an income that is \$8,000 per year. To determine the possibility of obtaining an additional home, you should consider your total expenses for housing your current residence and the potential new house to determine whether you can take on another mortgage. This will also determine the price of the home you can afford. Mortgage lenders utilize the housing expense ratio to determine whether they're willing to give you a loan. In general, this implies that the cost of your house must not surpass 28% or more of your earnings, and your debt-to-income ratio must not exceed 36 percent.

If we return to our vacation home scenario, let's assume that your total expense for housing for your first home is \$1,600 per month, inclusive of all taxes, insurance, and other costs. There aren't any other debts. Therefore, calculating your debt-to-income ratio for both of you shows that your total is 20%, which is well below the maximum housing allowance and the DTI ratio lenders prefer to use. Once you know the total housing cost for your home and your property, you can determine the estimated total housing cost of any home you'd love to purchase. Then, add the two numbers together. This will provide you with a rough estimate of what you will pay monthly to rent your house.

## What is the Housing Expense Ratio?

The ratio of housing expenses is a ratio that ranks the cost of housing to the earnings before tax, also known as pretax earnings. The ratio is typically used to analyze credit by lenders in the loan process. Banks and lenders utilize the ratio in due diligence when deciding whether to approve the borrower for loans. The ratio of housing expenses is used primarily in mortgage loans. The lender conducts a thorough assessment of the borrower's credit profile to ensure that it can pay back the mortgage loan.

## Mortgage Loan Qualifying Ratios

The total cost of housing is one of the two acceptable ratios that an underwriter typically analyzes during approving mortgage loans. Certain lenders will concentrate only on the borrower's mortgage principal or interest payment, while other lenders may require a thorough study of housing costs. For a borrower, the housing expenses will include the principal and the interest for a mortgage. This could also include other costs like insurance premiums, property taxes, and homeowner's fees.

The ratio of housing expenses divides the borrower's total home expenses by their income per month. The ratio should be 28 percent or lower to get approval. It is also referred to in the form of the front-end rate. Debt-to-income is another qualifying ratio, which is taken into consideration along with the housing expense ratio in determining the approval of mortgage loans. This ratio is referred to as the "back-end ratio. The ratio should be at least three-quarters or less to get approval. In certain cases, higher debt-to-income ratios might be acceptable in mortgage loans sponsored through government organizations. The agencies can permit debt-to-income ratios for mortgage loans that are 50 percent or less.

Underwriters of mortgage loans use qualifying ratios to approve loans and determine the principal amount. Suppose a mortgage loan is approved, loan. The lender will consider the borrower's housing cost ratio and debt-to-income ratio when determining the maximum amount they will lend. The mortgage lender will typically consider a loan-to-value ratio about the risk identified in the credit underwriting process and appraisal of the property. The loan to value ratio will determine the maximum amount of principal that can be provided and the amount of down payment needed by the lender.