More house hunters are exceeding their spending limits for the perfect home

Houston bucks national trends when it comes to low housing inventory, but that doesn't mean buyers are being frugal.

The Houston housing market is still healthy for houses less than $225,000. Most home builders are starting at $190,000

Houston real estate expert Shad Bogany said Houston home buyers are stretching their budgets, especially single parents, who have auto loans or folks with student loan debt. Plus, people aren't getting income increases needed to buy a house.

"So if I'm starting off at $190,000 and I've got a 3.5 percent tax rate, I'm pretty much almost$2,000 a month in a house note," said Bogany.

He added Houston is not as affordable as it once was. Prices aren't coming down, but could be stabilizing.

JDR president and COO Cheri Fama said home buyers are being cautious in case they find a dream home for a little more...than can go ahead and splurge.

"Generally people set a budget a little bit lower than they actually can spend. Most people today are going to a lender and talking to them before they start shopping," said Fama.

Thirty-eighty percent of home buyers topped their spending limits, up from 32% a year ago...busting their budgets by an average $20,000, up from $16,510 in the early 2018 survey.

Among the different age groups of buyers:

• Thirty-nine percent of Gen Xers went over budget and by $35,000 on average, up from 34% who topped their spending limits by an average $13,996 a year ago.

• Twenty-seven percent of baby boomers busted their budgets by an average $25,000, compared with 19% who went over by $8,024 last year.

• More millennials surpassed their spending caps - 46% - up from 40% last year. But they cut the average amount they overspent in half to $12,000.

Also, 41% of millennials said finding the right home was their biggest challenge, compared with 52% of Gen Xers and 56% of boomers.

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