How much home should you buy?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843

Years ago I had a friend that emailed me full of excitement.


"Jared!  We are ready to buy a home!  We're pre-approved for $400,000 and here are 5 homes we want to see please."


Being smart when purchasing a home in Fort WayneAll 5 homes were right around that $400,000 mark.  


Knowing that they had struggled to save enough for a down payment and even though he just got a promotion, I knew they were tight financially.


Not that it's my job to manage friend's finanaces, but I was concerned.


I told them to write a list of wants and needs in a home.  


Once I got that list I knew the exact area where you could find homes that fit all of their wants and needs, but it was in the $300,000 range instead.


I found 3-4 homes and emailed the listings over to them.  


They loved the homes I sent, and ended up buying a home for around $315,000.  


They also thanked me numerous times for calming them down and helping them save a TON of money.  


Ultimately it's our client's decision on what they want to buy and spend, but we try to relay the message that if buying a home for X amount is going to put you in a financial bind, really think about it from all angles.


Some ways to avoid becoming "house poor" are to save more money for a bigger down payment or be patient and pay off debt.  And of course, don't stretch yourself so thin on a mortgage payment that you can't afford to to anything once you move in.


We've shown several $500,000 + homes that barely had anything furniture in them because the home owners were tapped out after the purchase. 


Be smart and realistic when purchasing a home.  


My two cents on a Thursday morning...



Posted by




Fort Wayne Realtors Jared and Amanda Christiansen with Century 21 Bradley

Amanda Christiansen is an award winning Realtor with Christiansen Group Realty.


Jared Christiansen is a business partner and in charge of marketing and taking care of things behind the scene.


Enough about us...


Tell us what you want your real estate experience to be, and we will do it YOUR way.


Buying a home in Fort Wayne? Tell us your wants and needs. Let us know how you envision your family living.  Tell us what's important to YOU, and we'll find the community and home that fits.  


Selling your home in Fort Wayne?  Our job is to make you the most money possible in the shortest amount of time. We offer our sellers professional staging, professional photography, and more internet marketing than most. 


We are committed to giving you everything we have to offer.  We are both full time agents and will work around your schedule.  Do nights and weekends work better for you?  NO PROBLEM. We are here to help YOU at YOUR convenience.


Amanda can be reached at 260-704-0843, and Jared can be reached at 260-704-0842, or you can email us at, or




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Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Amanda and Jared Christiansen Buyers certainly need to stay within their financial means when purchasing a home. They don't always have to spend what they are approved for when they can find homes that meet their needs for less money.

Jan 29, 2016 12:00 AM #1
Jeff Stevens
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties - Las Cruces, NM
Jeff Stevens REALTOR®/Associate Broker

Amanda and Jared Christiansen - Good post and sooo true! I can't tell you how many homes, 2,000 sq.ft. and up, I see in our area without yards installed. Why? Simply because there's no money left to do it! I can only imagine what the inside looks like...I'm sure you can hear an echo for lack of furnishings.

Jan 29, 2016 12:15 AM #2
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I always caution "pre-approved amount" is not the same as "must spend amount!"  Good job serving the client!

Jan 29, 2016 01:03 AM #3
Women of Westchester Working Together
Women of Westchester Working Together - West Harrison, NY
Women helping Women get ahead

A great 2 cents worth.  Also, many forget that also have "move in" expenses.  There is the cost of movers (or boxes or renting trucks) and some home improvement projects that should be done (many need to limit how much of these they can do) and general "switching" costs like setting up phone, electric/gas, supplies etc...all those small expenses which collectively add up.

Jan 29, 2016 01:28 AM #4
Women of Westchester Working Together
Women of Westchester Working Together - West Harrison, NY
Women helping Women get ahead

Also, inevitably something unexpected happens in the first year, so it's best not to be too tight on finances...because if you are, it's Murphy's law.

Jan 29, 2016 01:29 AM #5
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Amanda and Jared- you proved to be a good friend as well as a good professional.  Just because someone can doesn't mean they always should.  You gave them good counsel. 

Jan 29, 2016 04:40 AM #6
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Buying more than you need is not advisable for any buyer, in my opinion.  

Feb 11, 2016 07:06 AM #7
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Amanda Christiansen

Christiansen Group Realty
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