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You'll need the right tools  and information to help you get started with buying your home

How much can I afford?

One of the first decisions is to figure out how much you should spend on a home.  How much will your payments be? 

Your mortgage lender can help you figure out the details, but use our calculators to get you started.

What's the 28/36 Rule?

As a general rule of thumb, your mortgage payment should be

no more than either of:

  • 28% of you gross (before taxes) income

So, as an example, let's say you make $65,000 a year:

65,000 Salary / 12 month  = $5,416 Gross monthly pay

$5,416 Monthly Income * 28% = $1,516

  • 36% of you gross income (before taxes) and other bills, like car payments and credit card payments

Using the same $65,000 example, let's say you also have a 

$350 car payment​ and $75 credit card payment

65,000 Salary / 12 month  =  $5,416 Gross monthly pay

$5416 Monthly Income * 36% = $1,949

$1,949 - $350 (car payment) - $75 (credit card) = $1,524

The smaller of the two numbers would be your maximum suggested housing/mortgage payment.*

Use the 28/36 Calculator here to help figure out what works for you

How much house will that payment get me? 

So, if we continue on with the example from above, we now know that the mortgage payment should be around $1516. Using the Mortgage Calculator here, you can see how much home that buys at an estimated interest rate and term.


Play around with the numbers and see what works best for you.  However, remember this is just a starting point and your mortgage lender will give you more accurate numbers based on your specific information.

* The information and numbers here are given as general educational information and in no way are meant as financial or legal advise.  Please contract your mortgage professional for specific personal and professional advise.


Where should I get my Loan?

While we can't recommend a specific leader, it definitely pays to shop around.  There are lots and lots of options out there.  There is no single best lender or type of loan for everyone.  Select a couple of lenders and see what they have to offer you.

We do have several trusted mortgage partners and we welcome you to contact them and see if they can meet your needs.


Movement Mortgage


Phone:  704-996-2939

Contact:  Joann Ladr, Senior Loan Officer

Joann at Movement Mortgage is one of our go to lenders. She has tons of industry knowledge and is willing to go the extra mile to help buyers find the right loan for their home purchase. She works with first time home buyers to retiring downsizing clients. Joann is licensed in both NC and SC! She can work with clients using on line tools or she can come to your home if needed. 


East Coast Mortgage Lending



Contact:  Bob Lenz, Senior Loan Officer

Direct Phone: 704-543-1610 Ext. 117

Cell: 704-905-3255


Bob Lenz is a 30-year veteran in the mortgage industry making his start in 1987 with Commercial Credit Corp. He is also a veteran of the US Coast Guard and has originated thousands of home loans including FHA, USDA and Conventional and of course, VA. He prides himself on maintaining the highest level of professionalism with a special focus on timeliness, attention to detail, courtesy and straight talk. You will never experience a moment of not being informed of the lending process and will also engage both buying and listing agents accordingly. Having numerous additional licenses in the financial services including mutual fund broker / dealer, life insurance and being a commodities - currency - index futures trader, he brings just a little extra wealth of experience to enhance and enrich the mortgage process through a broad spectrum of knowledge. 


How can I find out about the neighborhoods and schools?

You've found a house, but do you know anything about the neighborhood, the schools, what's in the area?  Maybe you haven't found the exact house yet, but you're interested in a specific area.  In either case, use the tools below to research the neighborhoods and associated schools to see if they meet your needs


Utility & Service Provider Search

Figuring out which service providers service which areas and finding all those phone numbers and web-sites can be a huge pain.

We try to make it a little easier with our centralized service provider search tool.  Just select your city and provider type.

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Website                                                       Provider                                                    Phone Number
Aunt Bette's Homemade Pecan Pie
Rockin’ Rocky Road Ice Cream
Tom’s Heavenly Apple Strudel
Joe’s Divine Butter Tarts
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