A homebuyer should typically be able to afford a home that is 3 to 3.5 times your annual salary (or income). Another general rule is your total monthly expenses (including the new home) should never be above 45% of your gross (pretax) income. For a first time home buyer, we typically recommend for this ratio to be 35% or less.
You should always consult with a professional mortgage advisor (not your typical order taker at the bank). And please remember that not all banks are created equal. Some banks can be great for your day to day banking, but have a reputation as terrible mortgage lenders. Therefore, please ask either us or your friends and family for mortgage banker recommendations.
A mortgage banker will advise you and let you know your qualification, how much home you can afford, what your monthly payments will be and what you should expect throughout the home buying process. A good mortgage banker will even coach you if your finances or credit score are not quite ready on how and what to do to get you ready, giving you a time frame of when you will be able to purchase a home.