In my assigned profile, I earn $54,000 in gross annual income. I have $10,000 in savings and $400 in monthly debt. According to the CNN Money affordability calculator, I could afford to purchase a home between $190,560.68 and $208,855.60 with a 4.25% mortgage rate. Using 33% of the $4,500 I earn each month as a guideline, I can afford up to $1,485 in rent.
As a resident of Hartford, I have some prior knowledge about surrounding towns and their school systems. I took my $200,000 budget and searched Home Finder, an online database of properties for rent and for sale. My target towns were Farmington, Avon, Simsbury, West Hartford, and Bloomfield (in order of most desirable to least). I was surprised to find that it was much easier to find homes to purchase that were within my budget. My monthly rental budget of $1,485 yielded little to no results in my target areas. I found some 2 bedroom apartments in Farmington, Bloomfield, and West Hartford that were slightly under budget, but I didn’t want to stick my 3rd and 6th grader in one room.
I found several 3 bedroom homes for under $170,000 in my desired areas. I settled on a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom condo in Farmington, Connecticut. The purchase price of the home is $168,300. My monthly mortgage will be $827.93. I will pay $129,756.54 in interest over the course of 30 years. I figure that it is a small price to pay to give my children a quality education. There are many magnet schools that we are eligible to apply to, but our neighborhood schools have out performed them all on state standardized tests. My 3rd grader will attend East Farms School where, according to Smart Choice, 89% of students score at or above test goal. My 6th grader will attend West Woods Upper Elementary where 93% of students score at or above test goal.