This Is the Average 40-Something's Mortgage Balance

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  • If you're buying a home in your 40s, you may have more spending power than a younger buyer.
  • It's important to take on a mortgage that doesn't eat up too much of your income.

Is it a sum you can swing?

Buying a home is an expensive undertaking, so if you're only first ready to do so in your 40s, worry not. The reality is that waiting until your 40s to purchase a home has its benefits. For one thing, you may have a higher salary than you did earlier on, which makes it possible to qualify for a larger mortgage -- one you can actually afford. That could make it so you don't have to settle for a starter home, but rather, can go straight to your forever home.

But while you may have more buying power in your 40s than you did earlier in life, it's still important not to get in over your head on the mortgage front. Going overboard could leave you struggling financially, and that's not what you want.

How much mortgage debt do 40-somethings have?

The average mortgage balance among people in their 40s is $348,109, according to Personal Capital. To be clear, that doesn't mean people who first take out a mortgage in their 40s are signing up for a $348,109 loan. Rather, it could be that many of the homeowners Personal Capital is accounting for have been paying off a mortgage for several years, and that they initially borrowed a larger sum.

Run your own numbers

You may be curious as to what 40-somethings owe on their mortgages, and there's nothing wrong with that. But don't use that $348,109 figure to dictate what home loan you take out.

First of all, it may be that you earn more than what the typical person in their 40s earns, in which case you may be in a position to take out a larger home loan. Or, the opposite may be true. If you're not such a high earner, a $348,109 mortgage may be out of reach.

To figure out what mortgage you can swing, use a calculator to run some numbers and see what monthly payment you might be looking at based on your loan's interest rate and the length of your loan. But remember, as a general rule, your housing costs should not exceed 30% of your take-home pay.

And by "housing costs," we're not just talking about your mortgage payment. Rather, that 30% should encompass all of your monthly housing expenses, including property taxes, homeowners insurance, and things like HOA fees, if you buy a home that comes with them.

Is it a bad idea to buy a home in your 40s?

Not at all. Granted, if you take out a 30-year mortgage and stick to your regular repayment schedule, you may not manage to pay off your home in time for retirement. But if waiting until your 40s means buying a home at a time when you're more settled in your career and financially stable, then that's a good thing.

What's more, don't stress if the mortgage you wind up taking out is larger than what the typical 40-something takes out. If that number works for you, that's really all that matters.

Our Research Expert

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