Some good answers below. to summarize, your front end ratio can vary. If your credit is good and your debt is low then your top ratio can be much higher than 30%. I have had cases where the front end ratio has easily exceeded 36%. It just depends.
In the event you are a first time buyer these are some additional things you should be concerned with.
1.) Find a Loan Officer with a proven track record who WILL be straight with you, and equally important... take or return your calls. I can't tell you how many clients tell me how how frustrating it is when the LO doesn't return calls or has poor customer service.
2.) Lending has actually pretty straight forward now. All good Loan Officers will run your application and credit report through the AUS (Automated Underwriting System) in order to pre-determine what your maximum sale price is based on your income and debts. If they are a Mortgage Banker, they certainly know their own Underwriter's or Investor's guidelines concerning maximum ratios or having compensating factors.
Best of Luck!
The debt-to-income (DTI) and other components of the pre-approval are all tied together, so when you take that step a lot of this will be quite clear. If I can help you with that (without cost or obligation) let me know. Also, feel free to join our next homebuyer webinar on March 5, where we'll cover everything you need to know about buying a home. The link is below, and this is free as well.
You say you would like San Diego County with no mello roos. Any cities in particular in San Diego?
Give me a call so we can discuss in more detail. I look forward to helping you.
Joan Patterson, B.A., G.R.I., Realtor, License #01431647
Keller Williams Realty
372,000 Loan amount
$1,670 Mortgage Payment (based on 30 yr fixed at 3.50%)
$ 485 Property Taxes (based on 1.25% of purchase price)
$ 108 Home Owner Ins. (based on 0.035 of loan amount
$2, 263 (PITI) = Housing expenses
Generally you'll want to keep it below 40 % of your gross monthly income
Then add up any monthly minimum payments (not the balance) for car loans, student loans, any credit card debt, and any other loans that you might have.
The total including PITI should stay within 45% of your gross monthly income...50% for FHA loans