Buying a home this spring? Brace yourself for some tough decisions

As home prices and interest rates both soar, home buyers will be harder-pressed to afford their monthly mortgage payments.

With the prime spring house- hunting season just around the corner, the monthly mortgage payment for a median-price home nationwide now stands at $1,486 — up $168 or nearly 13% from a year ago, according to a new report from Realtor.com. That payment amount equates to nearly 30% of the current median household income.

That means that many could easily see their housing-related costs exceed 30% of their income once other expenses such as taxes and insurance are factored in. The general rule of thumb that many consumers abide by is not to spend more than 30% of their income on housing — though many argue that this guideline is arbitrary these days.

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