When you decide to purchase a new home, your first step should be to determine how much you can afford to spend. Of course, your mortgage lender will ultimately assess the amount you're eligible to borrow. Therefore, you need to target an appropriate price range before you begin house hunting.
I work with several local mortgage lenders. Call or email me and I will send you a current list. They can assist you at no cost to see exactly how much you can afford. There are many different mortgage programs available including those with no money down.
To get an estimated figure, look at your monthly budget and estimate how much you're willing and able to set aside for your mortgage payment each month. You should also consider how your monthly mortgage payment will relate to your total monthly income.
Generally, your total housing expense should not exceed 28% of gross monthly income (FHA is 29%, VA is N/A). Your total housing expense is the sum of principle, interest, and escrows. Also, total monthly obligations should not be greater than 36% of gross monthly income (FHA and VA are 41%). Monthly obligations include total housing expense plus payments on installment loans revolving credit payments, mortgage payments on real estate that doesn't produce income, and alimony and child support payments.