Lets start with a truth bomb. The max mortgage I can qualify you for will make you “house poor”.
Yes, the way loan guidelines are written I can get you up to a level where you can pay your mortgage, basic bills and have Top Ramen every night until you get a raise or a new job. Want to go out for dinner? NO Want to buy a new sofa? NO Want to go on vacation? Hahahahahhahahaha, NO, you are “house poor.” All your money goes to your house and basic bills. And by the way you may have to cut cable and use heat bi weekly. I do not want you to become a victim of “house poverty.”
That is why when people ask me what they qualify for I do not max qualify instead I talk about what they have been paying and what they have been saving.
That is the secret to determine what you can actually afford.
If you pay $2400 a month in rent and your proposed payment is $3600 a month, have you been saving $1200 a month? Do you have $1200 a month leftover every month? NO? Well then time to make a budget to see what you are willing to cut. Not willing to cut anything?
Well then, $2400 a month is the max payment you can handle. If you pay $2400 a month and have been saving $2000 a month then a $3600 a month payment is ok.
Getting MAX qualified and shopping based off of that number is a recipe for disaster. Don’t do it. Respect yourself and the quality of life you want to have. I understand the max mortgage may get you a slightly nicer house but you will give up everything else for it. Look at what you have been paying and what you have been saving. That will help you find the home loan that fits you.