House Poor


DEFINITION of 'House Poor'

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.


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.

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