A mortgage lender does not tell you how much you can afford. A lender will tell you the amount you can get approved for. You need to look at prices and figure out the cost of a mortgage, taxes and insurance. Then add in all current bills, expenses and figure out an average it would cost for utilities, water, cable ect. Once you figure out a rough number you need to try to take that amount and put it in a savings account for at least 5 to 6 months. If you are unable to save that amount the home is more than you can afford. This will also show you the lifestyle you will be able to afford with those monthly costs. Many home buyers make the mistake of not doing this and end up in a situation where they can't afford the home or end up being house poor. Anyone t.elling you to simply go by what a bank will loan you is an idiot. This is what you qualify for and is never the same as what you can afford.