What does a 'House Poor' mean

A house poor is a situation that describes a person who spends a large proportion of his or her total income on home ownership, including mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and utilities. House poor individuals are short of cash for discretionary items and tend to have trouble meeting other financial obligations like vehicle payments.

BREAKING DOWN 'House Poor'

People typically become house poor because they buy more house than they can afford, but there are other ways that people can become house poor as well. For example, some people will become house poor after the birth of a child, when one spouse decides to stay at home with the new addition, rather than going back to work.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Housing Bonds

    Debt securities issued by state or local governments to raise ...
  2. Home Debtor

    An individual who holds a large mortgage with little or no equity ...
  3. U.S. Department of Housing and ...

    A U.S. government agency created in 1965 to support community ...
  4. Home Equity

    The value of ownership built up in a home or property that represents ...
  5. Mortgage

    A debt instrument, secured by the collateral of specified real ...
  6. Alligator Property

    In real estate, when the cost of mortgage payments, property ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Mortgages: How Much Can You Afford?

    Answering this means number-crunching as well as factoring in other considerations and expenses.
  2. Investing

    Where International Real Estate Is Booming

    Which country has the hottest property market right now? The answer will undoubtedly surprise you.
  3. Investing

    Why Housing Costs Shouldn't Exceed 30% of Your Budget

    Financial experts will argue that there’s no problem with allocating 50% of your net income to housing, but that barely leaves enough money for living comfortably. Reducing housing expenses to ...
  4. Investing

    8 Signs Of A Real Estate Rebound

    Wondering when prices will start to turn around in your area? We'll show you how to get in the know.
  5. Insurance

    5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Home

    Understand five specific mistakes to avoid when buying a new home.
  6. Investing

    Why Housing Market Bubbles Pop

    Home price appreciation is not assured. Can you withstand the volatility in this market?
  7. Investing

    Where's The Next Housing Bubble?

    Countries outside of the U.S. are showing definite signs of housing bubbles - but which will be the first to pop?
  8. Investing

    4 Reasons Why Renting a Home is a Wise Decision

    We've all heard that a home is a great investment, but is it really? In this article, we will look at four reasons why renting could be wiser than homeownership.
  9. Investing

    Are You Ready To Buy A House?

    There are a number of factors, aside from cost, that you should think about before buying a new house.
  10. Personal Finance

    How to Use a Mortgage Calculator to Save Time and Money

    Calculate your monthly mortgage payment using the Investopedia's free calculator.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How can a reverse mortgage help wealthy and poor retirees?

    Learn about the ways a reverse mortgage can help both wealthy and poor retirees by allowing them to borrow against their ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center