The Stairs Blog

The Income Required for a 400K Mortgage: What to Consider

What income do you need to afford a 400k house? Learn the income required for a 400K mortgage based on your debts, down payment, and other factors.

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Down Payment vs. Deposit: What’s the Difference?

What is a down payment vs a deposit for a house? Learn the difference between initial deposits (AKA earnest money) and down payments.

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How Much Do I Need to Make to Buy a 300K House?

How much do I need to make to buy a 300K house? We unpack how to budget for a $300K home, what income you need, and how to boost your buying power.

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How Much House Can I Afford on 40K a Year? Calculate the Cost

How much house can I afford on 40K a year? Here’s how to calculate an affordable home purchase price and account for other housing costs.

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What is a Special Purpose Credit Program?

What is a special purpose program? Information on this new option for first time homebuyers, including special purpose credit program examples.

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The average American lives 78.55 miles from their mom (2023 data)

How far does the average American live from their mom? Turns out it’s 78.55 miles away or about an hour by car. Based on new 2023 data.

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How Much House Can I Afford With a 60k Salary in My State?

Now sure how much house you can afford with a 60K salary? We break down what you can get on 60,000 a year and how to get more house for your money.

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How Much Down Payment for a House? The 20% Down Myth

How much is a down payment on a house? We debunk the 20% down payment myth and talk about how much down payment for a house you actually need.

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How Much House Can I Afford With a 50K salary? (All the Info)

What house can I afford on 50k a year? We break down what you can afford on a 50K salary and how to get more for your money.

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I Make 25k a Year, Can I Buy a House? This is How To Do It

Is it possible to buy a house if you make 25K a year? We explain how to buy a house on a salary of 25,000 a year and how much house you’ll get.

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How to Buy a House With No Money As a First-Time Homebuyer

Learn how to buy a house with no money down using grants, loans, and lender credits. Also find out about home loans with low up-front costs.

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If I Make $70,000 a Year, How Much House Can I Afford?

“I make $70,000 a year. How much house can I afford?” Great question. See what house you can afford on 70K a year and how to get down payment help.

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Biden’s $15000 First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit 2021

Biden’s $15000 tax credit was introduced in 2021. Find out where the bill is now and how to get this first-time homebuyer tax credit.

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Biden’s First-Time Buyers $25,000 Downpayment Toward Equity Act 2021

A guide to Biden’s first-time buyers $25,000 Downpayment Toward Equity Act of 2021. Eligibility info and how to apply for Biden’s down payment assistance.

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The Cheapest State to Buy a House: 15 Picks for 2023

What is the cheapest state to buy a house in 2023? What about the cheapest state to live in the US? We dove into the housing market data to find out.

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What Happens if I Pay Back a Gifted Down Payment?

Learn all about gifted down payments: What happens if you pay back a gifted down payment? What goes into a gift letter for a mortgage? Who can give a gift?

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How Can Friends & Family Help Me Buy a House?

Down Payments, amiright? The downpayment on a house is a hefty sum. We’re not even talking the full 20% to avoid PMI, even just the 3% to get a basic FHA loan can truly be a financial burden. It takes a village to raise a child, but good hell, these days it takes a village […]

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Buying a House Using a Government Grant

The year is 2017, and the housing market, fairly typical. There was average competition, room for negotiation, and a surplus of inventory. Buying a house felt like the methodical and logical process it should be, where we can factor in everything. We happened across a down payment assistance program, and it was the BEST factor […]

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Why a School Took on the Problem of Homeownership

Study after study has shown clear links between a family’s housing stability and their child’s educational attainment. Enabling access to down payment assistance lifts up families, children and communities. That’s why One City Schools agreed to serve as the pilot site last year for Own It: Building Black Wealth. When I helped start One City […]

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Why Use a Mortgage Broker? (And When Not To!)

Mortgage brokers are here to help and serve you. They act as an intermediary between you and lenders, to ensure that you get the best mortgage rate possible. They are qualified experts who can assist you in choosing the best mortgage option to meet your financial situation and objectives. Mortgage brokers make their money as […]

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Using Your 401K For the Down Payment as a First-Time Home Buyer

Disclaimer: Listen, it wouldn’t be prudent for us to start this article without a HEAVY warning. Using your 401K or IRA for the down payment of your house is not a circumstance that should be frequently used or considered. Doing this could benefit a very niche group of people in specific circumstances (that you must […]

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First-time home buyer pre-approval: What it is and how it works

The purpose of pre-approval for first-time home buyers A pre-approval from a mortgage lender helps you plan for your maximum house budget. It’s a soft inquiry on your credit and isn’t tied to a specific house. The amount you get approved for is what the lender feels comfortable saying: (1) we will likely lend you […]

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What Happens at the Closing Table?

Closing on a house comes with a lot of paperwork. You and all relevant parties will sit down and sign approximately 100 pages about your new purchase. Expect this to take about an hour. The lender wants to ensure that everyone is on the same page (literally!) with how you plan to pay for your […]

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Introducing Stairs Financial: Your Operating System for Home Buying

Hello world! We’re Stairs Financial–we help young Americans buy a home they can afford. We find homes within your budget and give you access to grants, loans and tax breaks. We’re excited to announce that we’re a part of the YCombinator W22 batch! Thanks to YC and to our earliest investors at Antler for their […]

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What Rising Mortgage Rates Mean for Home Buyers

For a few years now, home buyers have been pushed to buy homes to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates. But now, mortgage rates are finally starting to tick back up. In this post, we’ll go over the recent rise in rates and discuss what that means for buyers in the market right now. […]

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What the Biden First Time Home Buyer Programs Mean for You

On the campaign trail, President Biden ensured his supporters that housing affordability would be a key part of his domestic policy. For aspiring home buyers, the most important provision would incentivize home buying at the national level, the same way many states and local governments have.  As a candidate, Biden proposed a $15,000 first-time home […]

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