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You will first need to research the housing market and compare the
values of two similar homes in two different areas. The two homes
must be extremely similar in structure size, land size, year built,
and additions such as swimming pools or barns. Then, based upon
your findings, you will select one of the homes to purchase,
calculate a monthly payment on the mortgage note, compare this
information with what you can potentially afford, and address
additional questions related to home ownership.
Activity or Assignment
House #1

House #2

Go to the following website: http://www.realtor.com/.
Enter a ZIP code.
Chose Homes for Sale.
Enter your price range (the minimum and maximum amount you want to
Enter the specifications (number of bedrooms and number of baths).
Hit Search.
Find a home that you like or would consider.
Go to the U.S. Census website: http://www.census.gov.
Click on the American Factfinder tab on the left of the screen.
Under the Fact Access to Information title, enter the ZIP code of
the house you found.
You will get lots of data on demographics like age, gender, family
size, education, income, and crime rates.
Find out the price per square foot for the house you found.
The goal now is to find a very similar house (age, lot size, square
footage, number of rooms, and number of bathrooms).

Repeat Steps 1 through 12.

In Step 2, pick another ZIP code 20+ miles away from the first ZIP
code you picked for the first house.

In Step 5, pick the same specification and choose a house that was
built in the same year or so as the first house. Also, try your
best to find a house that has the same lot size and square footage
as the first house.

Construct a table showing a comparison of data (including
location, square footage, total price, price per square foot, and
specifications), for both houses and then write a 3–4-page paper
detailing the following:

1. What is the logic for choosing your two ZIP codes? Is the
selection based upon work location, family location, good schools,
and so on?

2. What is the logic behind choosing the size and specifications
of each house?

3. Compare the total price of the two homes.

4. Compare the price per square foot for each house.

5. Compare the demographic data (referring to the location and ZIP
code) of each house. Based upon these data, try to explain the
similarities and differences in pricing for each home.

6. Select the home that you will purchase and explain the
reasoning behind your selection. Assume that at least a 20% down
payment is required. How much money would you need to have saved?
After the down payment, what would be the purchase price of the

7. Assume the following:

Closing costs (including all potential loan origination, title,
and closing fees) are $3,500.
You have been approved for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage note at a
rate of 5.0%. Calculate the monthly payment for this loan. (It is
recommended that you show your calculation.)
8. Using your textbook readings this week as a resource, and based
upon your monthly gross income and current additional debt
payments, perform the calculations below (it is recommended that
you show your calculations).

Your affordable monthly mortgage payment (assume your lender uses
a guideline of 33% for monthly gross income or 38% if you have
other debt payment obligations)
Your affordable mortgage amount (meaning the amount that can be
financed; assume the loan terms under #7b)
Your affordable home purchase price (assume a 20% down payment).
Compare these calculations to the previous data under #6 and #7.
What are your conclusions? Discuss your findings, including any
When purchasing a home, what additional considerations must you
take into account? Discuss the parties that will be involved, what
type of documentation will be required, home inspection
requirements, any additional financing options that you would
evaluate, and so on

Present a general summary regarding home ownership. What are the
advantages and disadvantages of home ownership, and how does your
personal choice fit into your overall personal financial plan? 

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