Enter your price range (the minimum and maximum amount you want to spend).
Enter the specifications (number of bedrooms and number of baths).
Find a home that you like or would consider.
Go to the U.S. Census website: http://www.census.gov.
Click on the American Factfinder tab on the left of the screen.
Under QuickFacts on the left-hand side, choose the state in which the home resides. Select the county and city and press “GO”.
You will get lots of data on demographics like age, gender, family size, education, income, and crime rates.
Find out the price per square foot for the house you found.
The goal now is to find a very similar house (age, lot size, square footage, number of rooms, and number of bathrooms).
Repeat Steps 1 through 12.
In Step 2, pick another ZIP code 20+ miles away from the first ZIP code you picked for the first house.
In Step 5, pick the same specification and choose a house that was built in the same year or so as the first house. Also, try your best to find a house that has the same lot size and square footage as the first house.
Construct a table showing a comparison of data (including location, square footage, total price, price per square foot, and specifications), for both houses and then write a 3–4-page paper detailing the following:
1. What is the logic for choosing your two ZIP codes? Is the selection based upon work location, family location, good schools, and so on?
2. What is the logic behind choosing the size and specifications of each house?
3. Compare the total price of the two homes.
4. Compare the price per square foot for each house.
5. Compare the demographic data (referring to the location and ZIP code) of each house. Based upon these data, try to explain the similarities and differences in pricing for each home.
6. Select the home that you will purchase and explain the reasoning behind your selection. Assume that at least a 20% down payment is required. How much money would you need to have saved? After the down payment, what would be the purchase price of the home?
7. Assume the following:
Closing costs (including all potential loan origination, title, and closing fees) are $3,500.
You have been approved for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage note at a rate of 5.0%. Calculate the monthly payment for this loan. (It is recommended that you show your calculation.)
8. Using your textbook readings this week as a resource, and based upon your monthly gross income and current additional debt payments, perform the calculations below (it is recommended that you show your calculations).
Your affordable monthly mortgage payment (assume your lender uses a guideline of 33% for monthly gross income or 38% if you have other debt payment obligations)
Your affordable mortgage amount (meaning the amount that can be financed; assume the loan terms under #7b)
Your affordable home purchase price (assume a 20% down payment). Compare these calculations to the previous data under #6 and #7. What are your conclusions? Discuss your findings, including any surprises!
When purchasing a home, what additional considerations must you take into account? Discuss the parties that will be involved, what type of documentation will be required, home inspection requirements, any additional financing options that you would evaluate, and so on
Present a general summary regarding home ownership. What are the advantages and disadvantages of home ownership, and how does your personal choice fit into your overall personal financial plan?
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