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How Much Home Can I Afford to Buy?

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One of the most frequent questions I’m asked during the pre-approval process is: “What’s the maximum home price I can afford?”

The answer to this question is found in the 3 pillars of qualification:

  • Credit
  • Income
  • Assets

 

Credit

A good credit score is a must nowadays. The minimum credit score to qualify for any of our programs is 620. But for the very best rates and terms, you really need to be above 700. This means you need to have your credit in order prior to applying. A bankruptcy will cost you a minimum of two years before application can be made, and a foreclosure or short sale will cost you three years before you can apply. Make sure you have an idea of your credit score before you inquire. If you have impaired credit, you’ll want to make sure that you disclose this prior to applying so that we can refer you to our credit repair specialist, Gwen’s Helping Hands , who can help you and would be happy to discuss your situation with you.

Income 

Income, the second pillar of qualification, is another critical part of the pre-approval process. A good rule to follow is to have a two-year employment history. We will qualify you using your base income. If we need to add overtime, you must have a two-year overtime history to qualify. This is also the case for part-time income. Most of our programs will allow for a mortgage payment up to 45% of your verified gross monthly income, including any monthly expenses which show on your credit report.

Assets

Assets is the last of our three pillars for qualification. The rule here is to have your money saved prior to application. We will verify down payment and closing cost requirements at your pre-approval and advise accordingly if you need to adjust your amounts. Gifts can also be accepted, but the most important thing to remember is to save for 3% of the purchase amount, plus an additional 2% for all other costs. We have loan programs with as little as 3% down payment. If you’re a veteran, you may also be eligible for a 0% down payment program. 401K and deferred compensation plans are eligible sources of down payment, so please be sure to include these statements at the time of your application.

To get started on your complimentary pre-approval, please contact us.

Stay safe, thank you for your service, and remember: Police Mortgage is for First Responders who are second to none!

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Vivian Abraham
BRANCH MANAGER
NMLS #2451439
 

I have my bachelor’s in business administration and have been involved in the banking industry for over 10 years. During that time, I managed two of the Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union branch locations prior to transitioning to Police Mortgage. I have family members who are police officers with the Chicago Police Department. My work has been very rewarding, and I take pride in having assisted countless members and their families with their financial needs and financial wellness. My hobbies include exploring new restaurants in the city and running in marathons that support pediatric cancer foundations and Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s Run to Remember. I come from a large family primarily from the south side of Chicago and love to share all the diversity and beauty the city has to offer with my two children.

Patrick Doah
Loan Officer
NMLS #2025761
 

I am honored to grow up in a multi-generational family of Chicago Police Officers. I joined Police Mortgage in the summer of 2020 and love the opportunity to help both first-time buyers and repeat clients alike achieve their dreams of purchasing a home. Having been born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago, I happily live in the Lakeview neighborhood today. Along with my two younger sisters, I am a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a lifelong Chicago Bears fan. I have a strong passion for food and love exploring the vast array of restaurants throughout our city. Nothing makes me happier than spending a summer afternoon on a golf course with family and friends!

Connor Walsh
Loan Officer
NMLS #2221708
 

I joined my brother at Police Mortgage as a loan officer in August of 2021 after a 10-year career in sales and marketing. Most recently, I worked as a Senior Account Executive for Ricoh North America, an office electronics company, where my main responsibilities were building new client relationships and maintaining over 400 existing customer accounts. I believe my work experience has transferred over to the mortgage industry well, because I am able to multi-task effectively while working with multiple customers. The skillset I learned in my previous employment allows me to stay organized and to manage my time well for my customers. My number one goal is always to make the loan process as quick and painless as possible for our borrowers. I am excited to further develop the Police Mortgage brand with my brother. It is a unique situation, and I believe working in an office together allows us to help our borrowers even more due to streamlined communication and our ability to help each other with our respective files. I like to spend my free time relaxing, watching sports, exercising, going out to eat with my wife, and trying to keep up with our three daughters – all under five years old!

Dylan Walsh
Loan Officer
NMLS #180970

After graduating from the University of Missouri in 2015, I moved to Chicago where I began a career in marketing at a firm called Ansira. I sought a career change and contacted Police Mortgage, where I was first introduced to the mortgage industry. I have spent the last 5 years training with our CEO, John Aretos, who has taught me all of the intricacies of the mortgage process. I love finding solutions for our clients to help them purchase the home of their dreams. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when helping homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, all the way through the loan process, from pre-approval to closing day. I recently moved back to my hometown of St. Louis, where we opened a new office. I am excited to help start this new chapter for Police Mortgage. My wife, Megan, and I are happy to be back in our hometown. We are always checking out new outdoor events such as music or food festivals – anywhere we can take our dog, Remy!

John Aretos
CEO
NMLS #268165

As the CEO of an organization associated with serving the Police and their loved ones, I am privileged to play a role in helping our clients achieve their life’s financial goals. Our mission is to make the home buying or refinancing process as comfortable as possible, providing our clients with competitive products and excellent service.

I was born and raised in the Chicago metropolitan area, and I have a deep-rooted love and appreciation for the diverse culture which makes our city so special. My two older siblings and I grew up working in our parent’s restaurant, which instilled a work ethic and sense of family that I carry with me to this day.

I am a graduate of Indiana University and have been involved in the mortgage industry for nearly 25 years, helping thousands of clients save money or finance the home of their dreams. My passions are passing down my love of food, music, art, snow skiing, and red wine to my three children, who motivate me to be a better person each and every day!