I won't get too analytical here but I would suggest, as others have, that you start with a good lender so you know what you can qualify for. The best advice I will give you from there is to ensure you have liquid assets available after you close escrow. I've owned my own brokerage business for over 30 years as well as a property management business and a broker/dealer. Do not over leverage yourself and be sure to have money available for repairs, some of which can be expensive, as well as periods of vacancy. Do not buy the cheapest home you can find in a worn out neighborhood just because of the price. If you want to maximize your capital gain, go where people are eager to own...not rent. Good luck.