Step one is get pre-approved for you mortgage. You may find you are qualified for a different amount. Once you are pre-approved get a good local agent and have them run all the sold comparables in the price range and see what percentage of the original list price most of the homes sold for.
I tend to show my clients listings around 10% over their price range, with the understanding that some may be willing to come down and others won't.
Best of luck in you home search.
I would never advocate going with the full price that you have been pre-approved for. There is a huge difference between pre-approval and pre-qualified. It will make a world of difference for you in your stress level the closer you get to closing. You want a qualified pre-approval!!!!!! Even better, a loan commitment pending finding the actual home and appraisal.
A good rule of thumb is no more than 1/3 your NET (TAKE HOME PAY) PER WEEK. If you go by this guideline, it will allow wiggle room for unexpected expenses, repairs, updates --- going out for dinner?????
Home ownership is very exciting for many people, but being tied to your home due to lack of funds to enjoy life and being able to make necessary improvements and repairs to that home can quickly cause that home to become a heavy burden and cause turmoil in all areas of life.
Don't let anyone talk you into going to the top of your price range.
Let us know how it turns out for you.
If you have been preapproved to purchase a home in the amount of $180,000, I would suggest that you start looking in the $165,000 to $190,000 range. Notice that I said preapproved. If you have not talked to a mortgage lender yet, please do so. You will then know absolutely what price range to be looking in. I think you will find a dramatic difference in the size and/or quality of home that you can purchase for every $25,000 that you go up in price. If you feel that your employment/income situation is stable, I would tell you to buy at or near the value you are qualified for. You may never see a buyer's market this good again, and you should maximize your opportunity, especially given the current interest rates, which will be going up very soon.
If you have any further questions regarding today's market, or if you need a buyer's agent to help you navigate through all the obstacles involved with home purchasing, please give me a call or email me. Lots of luck in your search.
RE/MAX Newport Realty Corp
I am an Accredited Buyer's Agent as well so please feel free to email me with any further questions.. Look forward to hearing from you..