Here's the problem, a rule of thumb for the nation breaks down for individual areas. Seattle, San Francisco, NY and some other areas too will be hard to fit into the "rules".
First ask yourself how long you plan to be in your next home. If it's short term, you should buy low or consider renting. Medium to long term the benefit of our historic appreciation makes stretching the rules (within the range an underwriter will permit) make sense.
I would encourage you to sit down with a lender to get a sense of what you actually qualify for and to find out if there are any issues on your credit you can address. Even folks with good credit will benefit from getting an Lender's review and suggestions to tweak their scores and obtain a slightly better rate.
With prices and rates looking to rise this year, the sooner you start the better.
Best of luck, let us know if we can help.
Affordability is a problem that markets can't really solve, Dave. Space is tight, they're not making any more land here in town, and you have a city of affluent people who can afford to pay a lot for houses - and builders who will tear down houses to build new ones to satisfy that demand.
And, you're not the only person grumbling! I think I speak for all of us agents when I tell you that when we show somebody a $500,000 house without a view and an upstairs that is more like a finished attic than a place for a couple of bedrooms and a bathroom - buyers often take a step back and say, "I make over $100,000 and THIS is all I can afford?"
Welcome to Seattle, Dave. It's a great place, but land - and a house - is expensive here!
BTW: I just did a quick search in the NWMLS. About 200 houses "residential" at $300,000 or less, 120 listed at $1M or more. Crazy!
Good luck to you in any case,
Isaac Real Estate Team
Champions Real Estate Services
TriStar Finance #MLO-107799
Office: 425-483-6849 Cell: 206-841-9976
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