Part of my initial meeting with a first time home buyer is a conversation of what their preferred lender states what the homebuyer can afford. Typically, I find that a new homebuyer is very unaware of the actual cost of home ownership and additionally some lenders do not take the time to explain to a new home buyer what their new payment will be at the time the lender does issue a pre-approval.
This is wrong and really reckless in my opinion. Therefore I like to educate my homebuyers on the actual cost of a home and the monthly amount that a buyer can expect to pay immediately upon buying the home and down the road, like a year later because many times it is not the same amount a year later.
Additionally just because a lender states they will loan you a certain amount for your new home, it doesn’t mean that you need to spend that much on your first home. Take the time to work with an agent who is interested in your success in long term homeownership. Have an educated broker ( Preferably myself ) and sit down with you to explain how this all works. Sure you can get online and use the many interest rate calculators out there and get a rough idea what your payment MAY be but is the calculator you just used accurate? Did it factor in escrows and private mortgage insurance? Do you know what they are? Do you WANT to know?
The nice thing is that most of the time my advice is 100% free and the other times that there may be a charge for my buyer representation it is very little in the cost. Typically a few hundred dollars at most. That little amount is very small in comparison to your long term success in homeownership.