It's best to determine how much you can afford and get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start home shopping. Before you go out looking for a home, you can get an idea of what you can afford by a reliable mortgage calculator. This tool will help you estimate how much mortgage you can handle. Another thing to consider is your down payment amount. Often people think they can't buy a house without a 10% or 20% down payment. Thanks to new mortgage products, many people can now get into a house for as little as 3% down-or less. There are even some special programs for first-time buyers that help with down payment and closing costs.
If you don't know where to begin with the mortgage side of things, give me a call. I'd be happy to give you a list of lenders that I've worked with in the past that will walk you through the whole process.