Real Estate Taxes and Condo Fees Affect How Much You Can Afford

When a mortgage lender gives you an estimate of what you’ll be paying each month for a fictitious property, it’s just an estimate. They’re using a dummy sale price, condo fees, and taxes until you have a specific property you actually want to buy. So consider this: taxes and condo/hoa fees can change how much you can actually afford.

If you’re looking a total monthly payment of $2,500, that means your Principal, Interest, Insurance, Taxes, and Condo/HOA fee (if appl.) have to total to $2,500 or less.

A higher condo fee eats into the total sale price you’ll be willing to pay. The difference in a condo fee of $300 versus $500 is about the same as a $50,000 increase in sale price.

Now consider tax rates around Northern Virginia…note: Herndon and Vienna (both towns)  have additional taxes on top of Fairfax County rates:

Arlington County: $0.958/$100 Assessed
Alexandria City: $0.998/$100 Assessed
Fairfax County: $1.07/$100 Assessed
Falls Church City: $1.27/$100 Assessed
Vienna: $1.3121/$100 Assessed (includes $0.2421 Vienna tax)
Herndon: $1.335/$100 Assessed (includes $0.265 Herndon tax)
Fairfax City: $0.94/$100 Assessed

That means, a house assessed at $400,000 in Arlington will cost you $3,832/year in real estate taxes, while the same house will cost you $5,248/year in Vienna in real estate taxes. That’s a monthly difference of about $120.

All of these numbers play together when evaluating how much you can afford and where you can get the best house for your money. Please talk to me for more information and names of great lenders.

2 thoughts on “Real Estate Taxes and Condo Fees Affect How Much You Can Afford

  1. Laura, please be sure to clarify: residents of independent cities do not pay taxes to the surrounding counties. For example, those who live in the City of Fairfax do not pay real estate taxes to Fairfax County. City rates are not “on top of … county rates.”

    Towns might be a different issue, as I am not familiar with that tax structure. Thanks.

    • Chris,
      I made that change. Both towns in Northern VA (herndon and vienna) require additional real estate taxes to Fairfax.

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