Nursing salary and buying a home?

  1. 1
    I start school for my BSN in the Summer of 2015 after I have my second child. I'm not picking nursing for the salary, I've always had a passion for nurses and what they do and couldn't see myself doing anything else with my life!
    BUT I'm a planner, dreamer, and have big goals and like to know what I'll be able to expect after I become a nurse. So is it any way possible to have a $400,000, maybe even $500,000 home on a nurses salary? I want a new styled home that I'll be happy to live many many years in so I don't mind it being one of my biggest investments and I don't want to wait late in life for it since my kids will already be growing older by the time I start house searching! So having my house (and student loans) as one of my first financial priorities (we don't need brand new expensive cars) would I be able to afford to pay a $500,000 30 year mortgage?
    screechinglilies likes this.
  2. 78 Comments so far...

  3. 8
    Where are you located? Home prices vary drastically from region to region, as do nursing wages.

    For instance, the RN in Arkansas only earns $19 hourly but lives in an area where nice houses are $90,000. On the other hand, the RN in Manhattan earns $45 hourly but lives in an area where a brownstone costs close to $1 million.

    So to answer your question, we need more information.
    poppycat, imintrouble, Erindel RN, and 5 others like this.
  4. 0
    Thank you! I didn't think about that. I live in Alabama. A RNs salary in alabama is estimated to be about 67,000 a year plus my husbands income of just 25,000 a year
  5. 0
    Other things to consider are location location location.
    Family size. How much are your student loan payments.
    I am in the process of buying my first home right now. I was preapproved for a modest amount. The house we are trying to buy is 4bed 2 bath move in ready. It is not a $500,000 house but it works for us
  6. 0
    Very true. A lot of the homes in Alabama, although big, are the older style houses, like Antebellums, which their gorgeous homes but not my taste. So a good 4 br 2 bath, new styled, brick house like I would like, from what I've seen browsing around, are $400,000 to $500,000. Sometimes less! And sometimes more.
  7. 38
    Quote from mariah96
    Thank you! I didn't think about that. I live in Alabama. A RNs salary in alabama is estimated to be about 67,000 a year plus my husbands income of just 25,000 a year
    I know you got that $67k figure from Indeed.com, but that is not accurate. People self-report bloated salaries on Indeed.

    A new grad nurse in Alabama is going to start at anywhere from $18 to $23 per hour, depending on the city and specialty. The median RN wage in Alabama is $57k per year according to the BLS, but this is for experienced RNs only. The typical new grad in Alabama starts out at less than $50k yearly. Alabama is one of the lowest paying states in the US. In fact, most of the Southeastern states pay piddling nurse wages due to the low cost of living.

    With an estimated starting salary of $45K for you along with your spouse's income of $25k, this results in a combined annual income of $70k. With good credit, most mortgage lenders will allow a married couple with a combined yearly income of $70k to borrow up to four times that amount, which would be $280k at the most. Then you must realize that your student loan debt might reduce the amount lenders will allow you to borrow because it affects your debt-to-income ratio.

    Then you've gotta worry about funding your retirement, saving money for a rainy day in case you're fired, and all that good stuff. What are you going to do when you are 65 and your knees are bad from standing all those years? Do you seriously want to work as a nurse until you die? In essence, just because you can most likely qualify to obtain a $280,000 loan to buy a house doesn't mean it's a good idea.

    I earn significantly more than the combined $70k income quoted above, but I live in a $100k house because I do not want to be blindsided with bills when certain events transpire (getting fired, getting injured, long term unemployment, etc.). By the way, it is 'newer' since it was built in 2004, and the 1900 square feet of space is more than enough room for me. Even when I was living in California I had an affordable house that cost about $150k.

    There are plenty of nice $100k houses in Alabama. Live within your means. The $500k house is a disastrous idea if you will be living from paycheck to paycheck and unable to fund a retirement.
    sharonww, Sammie7, pseudomonas, and 35 others like this.
  8. 0
    Thank you for giving me a realistic financial frame! Maybe after becoming a nurse and talking to realtors, I'll find an affordable cheaper house that comes close to the style of house I'm looking for (A house built in 2004 sounds perfect). I really didn't know in any means how much I would be able to afford as a nurse and that helped a lot! Thank you!
  9. 9
    Commuter is spot on. 400-500K for a house is a LOT of money. Especially in AL. You'd be better off to stick to 100-200k. I'm sure that would still afford you a nice place. (Land is a huge factor) That really doesn't matter now, though. When you're ready to purchase a new home the bank will let you know what you can spend. Just some advice, I too used to look up houses and dream about the tiny details that are so far away. Recently I decided my time would be much better spent learning school and nursing stuff rather than dreaming...
    pseudomonas, macfar28, LadyFree28, and 6 others like this.
  10. 15
    Quote from mariah96
    Thank you for giving me a realistic financial frame! Maybe after becoming a nurse and talking to realtors, I'll find an affordable cheaper house that comes close to the style of house I'm looking for (A house built in 2004 sounds perfect). I really didn't know in any means how much I would be able to afford as a nurse and that helped a lot! Thank you!
    I think you need to do a little more research. First of all a house in Florence Alabama is not the same house for the money in Mobile Bear in mind you NEVER want to be house poor. First homes should be one that you build equity in and are in a neighborhood that offers a good education for your children.

    While you are wanting to be a nurse...nursing school are very competitive right now....and expensive. Most facilities are hiring only BSN new grads and the "median salaries" are a combination of the highest to the lowest paid in a specific area and are by NO MEANS an indication of what you will make as a new grad.

    There is NO NURSING shortage right now. Most areas in Alabama have a surplus according to job density data keep in mind again that the salary shown are MEDIAN salaries and NOT reflective of a new grads pay Nurses Schools, Salaries, and Job Data
    Alabama

    City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
    Anniston $55,000 970 +20%
    Birmingham $60,000 14,710 +47%
    Decatur $51,000 980 +2%
    Dothan $56,000 1,750 +65%
    Florence $53,000 1,370 +46%
    Gadsden $55,000 980 +63%
    Huntsville $58,000 4,180 +2%
    Mobile $56,000 4,990 +44%
    Montgomery $61,000 3,170 -1%
    Tuscaloosa $59,000 2,240 +32
    Based on your numbers a house that is $370,000.00 WITH A $20,000.00 down payment and an interest rate of 3.2% will have a payment of $2240,00/month for 30 years. Student loans of $30,000.00 for 20 years are about $300.00/month.

    That is a a lot of cash. IF you can find a job out of school right away.

    While it is great to dream....reality is a tough pill to swallow.

    Be cautious of student debt ans getting in over your head.
    pseudomonas, Junebug903, Erindel RN, and 12 others like this.
  11. 0
    That's alot of good advice for you to consider, don't get in over your head


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