House Poor

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. Housing Expense Ratio

    A ratio comparing housing expenses to before-tax income that ...
  4. Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2 ...

    A housing act that is designed to help families keep homes that ...
  5. Mortgage

    A debt instrument, secured by the collateral of specified real ...
  6. Jingle Mail

    A situation where a homeowner mails his or her house keys to ...
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. Personal Finance

    5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Home

    Learn about home ownership and some of the pitfalls a potential homebuyer faces. Understand five specific mistakes all homebuyers should avoid.
  3. Personal Finance

    Real Estate Indicators For Prospective Homebuyers

    If you want to buy a home but you’re holding out until market conditions show signs of improvement, housing indicators can help point the way.
  4. Managing Wealth

    Divorce and Mortgage Payments: What You Need to Know

    Divorce can put a strain on finances, especially when it comes to the mortgage. Here is what you need to know about divorce and mortgage payments.
  5. Personal Finance

    Are We Heading for a Real Estate Bubble?

    Housing prices across the United States have been on a steady rise over the past few years. Does this mean we are seeing another bubble?
  6. Personal Finance

    10 Reasons Why Moving Might Not Make You Richer

    Find out why moving to a less expensive city may not reduce your expenses.
  7. Personal Finance

    The Best Day and Month to List Your Home

    Want to make a quicker sale? Get your house on the market this spring and pick the perfect day of the week to attract buyers.
  8. Retirement

    Retirement Living: Renting Vs. Home Ownership

    Here are three simple questions you should consider when weighing this decision.
  9. Personal Finance

    When's the Best Time to Sell a House?

    Your timing is a key element in when to sell a house. Here's what to consider.
  10. Personal Finance

    Mortgage Basics: Loan Eligibility

    By Lisa Smith"How much house can I afford?" It's a critical question that every homebuyer faces, and one that many people answer by going to a lender and taking out the largest mortgage that ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are my risks of buying a house?

    I am 21, free of any kind of debt, and have saved up 120k for a down payment. I will still have some emergency fund after ... Read Answer >>
  2. Is it better to live in a state with a high tax base but low housing costs or a state ...

    My husband and I recently retired. We have lived in Montana for the past 15 years and want to retire to a warmer climate. ... Read Answer >>
  3. Will I pay capital gains tax on the profits from the sale of my home?

    I am single and have lived in my house for 30 years. Does it make a difference if I rent or buy after selling the house? ... Read Answer >>
  4. Will I have to pay capital gains tax on my house when I sell it if I bought my ex-wife ...

    My wife and I paid $146,000 for our current home which asset value now is $425,000. After paying ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do I know how much of my income should be discretionary?

    Understand the difference between discretionary income and disposable income. Learn how much of a person's income should ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center