If you ask a mortgage professional or a Realtor about how much you can afford for any home you will get the answer that a Bank that will eventually buy up your loan has determined that you can afford and (odds on) still make the mortgage payments. Some loan brokers and their lenders will accept more risk and tell you a greater amount and charge you more interest. Before you talk with them, write down all your present, necessary, housing expenses, such your present mortgage or rent, including utilities etc. Then figure out how much spendable money you have left over at the end of the month and still be happy. Those two figures will determine how much of a mortgage payment & utilities you can handle. If you are putting a goodly amount in the bank every month part of that too could be added. You can also factor in the raise that starts next month. Now you can tell the loan Broker, the Realtor or the Banker that you can afford that much. Remember that figure and question anyone who says it could be more. Now you are ready to talk to a lender you might know already, he'll give you an answer for how much mortgage money you qualify for with that payment rate. That amount plus your down payment and some money for escrow is how much the home value can be. Then ask a Realtor about homes in that price range in Carlsbad. He'll be happy to tell you. He has loan Brokers that he knows too, so get their opinion to keep the first guy competitive.