How Much House Can I Afford If I Make $45,000 a Year?

If you’re bringing in $45,000 a year, the dream of homeownership might seem a bit daunting, but it’s definitely within reach.

With the right financial planning, low down payment loans, and mortgage assistance programs, you can certainly find a home that fits your budget.

Your annual salary is, of course, a critical component in this equation, but it’s far from the only one.

To make an informed decision, you’ll also need to consider current mortgage rates and loan terms, as well as how much you can afford for a down payment.

Let’s Talk Numbers.

How Much House Can You Afford if I Make $45k?

If you make $45,000 a year, your monthly pre-tax income is roughly $3,750.

A standard rule of thumb, often referred to as the Rule of 28, suggests that your housing costs should not exceed 28% of your gross monthly income.

In this case, that would equate to approximately $1,050 per month for your housing expenses.

Mortgage rates can drastically affect how much house you can afford. As of the current market, here are some sample rates:

  • 30-Year Fixed Rate: 7.53%
  • 20-Year Fixed Rate: 7.49%
  • 15-Year Fixed Rate: 6.81%
  • 10-Year Fixed Rate: 6.79%

Let’s apply these rates to see what kind of loan you could afford while sticking to the Rule of 28:

  • For a 30-year mortgage at 7.53%: You could afford a loan of about $140,000
  • For a 20-year mortgage at 7.49%: You could aim for a loan of around $120,000
  • For a 15-year mortgage at 6.81%: A safe bet would be a loan of roughly $105,000
  • For a 10-year mortgage at 6.79%: The maximum you could afford would be around $92,000.

Figures above don’t account for other costs involved in buying a home, such as the down payment, closing costs, and any homeowners association (HOA) fees. Make sure to budget for these items as well.

So, if you’re earning $45,000 a year, you could potentially afford a home loan ranging from $92,000 to $140,000, depending on the mortgage term and rate you choose.

Others were interested in:

Building a House Without a Loan is not Mission Impossible

How To Flip Houses With No Money

How to Get a Loan to Build a House

How to Increase Your Purchasing Power If You Make $45k?

If you’re making $45,000 a year and looking to stretch those dollars, you might be tempted to put all your focus on saving.

While that’s a good start, those savings have their limits, whereas the potential to increase your income is pretty much limitless.

So, before you tighten that budget belt another notch, consider the broader financial picture.

Sometimes, increasing your earning potential can be the real game-changer in boosting your purchasing power.

Take salary negotiations, for example. If you’ve been doing well at your job, why not consider asking for a raise?

A simple conversation backed by some research on industry salary standards could put extra cash in your pocket fast.

Another fast track to a bigger paycheck is switching jobs.

If you find another role that offers better pay and fits your career goals, making that leap could give you a significant salary bump, often in the range of 10-20%.

And let’s not forget side hustles; they’re not just trendy, they’re also a practical way to supplement your income.

Whether it’s freelance work, crafting, or any skill you can monetize, a side hustle can add another stream of income and give you more financial freedom.

Figuring Out Affordability 

Upfront Payment

Making an upfront payment helps reduce the amount you must finance to get your home.

Any upfront payments get settled from the amount you have to pay for your home. 

Paying more upfront money will not only lower the monthly payments for the loaned amount, but it will also extend your potential home options. 

Monthly Expenses 

Knowing your expenses is crucial when setting out to buy your home. Calculating your expenses will give you a clearer picture when choosing a loan term. 

To calculate your monthly expenses: 

  • Figure Out Your Monthly Income. 
  • Analyze the obligatory expenses.
  • Minus Any Debts that you have to pay off 
  • Set aside the money for savings.

When financing your home, the ideal practice is to choose a payment plan that you can pay off comfortably. 

Loan Term 

After figuring out how much you can pay upfront, let’s progress toward the next step towards determining affordability.

After you have chosen and financed your home, the next step is to figure out how much you will pay for the long and the time you will require to pay it off. 

The technical term for this phenomenon is called the “loan term.” Technically, there are two ways a loan term works out: 

  • Extended
  • Aggressive

An extended loan term gives you more time to pay back the loan. The monthly amount is very less, making it seem feasible.

However, the extended loan terms usually incur a high ROI (rate of interest).

While the monthly payments may be manageable, choosing the extended plan will mean paying extensively more than the value of your home. 

However, the aggressive loan term is the opposite of the extended plan. You try to pay off the loan in smaller but bigger installments through this term.

While the payment terms are often difficult to pay for through an aggressive term, going with it helps you save money in the long run and pay back the amount with less ROI. 

Real Estate Tax

Property taxes have a drastic effect on your affordability. They can significantly affect the budget you have set aside to pay back the financed amount. 

Since real estate taxes vary in every state, research the property taxes of the state where your new home resides.

Calculating the taxes will help you develop a realistic approach and prevent you from getting blindsided later.

Benefits of Buying a House with $45000 Annually

Throughout history, properties have seen stable growth in their value. As time passes by, your property’s value will also increase.

The uniform appreciation in property’s value not only increases your net worth, but it also accumulates as a worthy asset. 


When you live on rent, you basically pay other people for a roof over your head. Through rent, you earn temporary ownership of the place.

Besides, for every penny you pay in rent, you never see it again. 

However, financing your home gives you a chance to build equity ownership interest in your home. Every time you repay the loan, you gain more home ownership. 


As the property value rises, so does its rent. However, when you buy your home, the amount you must pay back remains the same.

While insurance and property taxes might increase, mortgage prices will remain constant. 

This way, paying off and earning equity in your home is a much safer and more logical option than buying a residence on rent. 

Final Words

So, can you buy a house if you’re making $45,000 a year?

The short answer is yes, but it’ll take some savvy budgeting and probably a little bit of compromise.

You might have to give up that dream of a downtown loft or a place by the beach, but a cozy, comfortable home? That’s totally doable.

Finding a home on a $45k salary might not be a walk in the park, but it’s far from impossible. Especially if you get a local real estate agent who knows the ropes and can guide you through the process.

Don’t just settle for the first agent you meet. Chat with a few, ask questions, and get some references. You’ll want someone who gets your budget and your goals.