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Simple Real Estate Definitions: PITI

2008
06.24

PITI stands for Principal, Interest, Taxes, and InsuranceMost homeowners make four housing-related payments each month:

  1. Principal on a mortgage
  2. Interest on a mortgage
  3. Taxes on the real estate owned
  4. Insurance for the real estate owned

Collectively, these payments are known by the acronym PITI but don’t let it fool you — a homeowner’s monthly expenses are still called PITI even if one or more of the elements doesn’t apply.

For example, a homeowner with an interest only mortgage does not pay principal each month.

Additionally, condo owners typically don’t pay homeowners insurance — they pay a monthly assessment and/or maintenance fees to an association instead.

But regardless for what it stands, determining a comfortable PITI should be every homeowner’s starting point when looking for a new home. PITI is the monthly housing cost, after all, and by knowing what fits in your budget, it’s a lot easier to compare homes and their related expenses.

It’s certainly better than asking the bank “how much home can I afford” — all that’s going to tell you is the P and the I. As a homeowner, you need to know all four.

PITI is most commonly pronounced pee-eye-tee-eye.

(Image courtesy: Contractor-Books.com)

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