Just because you qualify for a higher mortgage amount does not mean that you should buy a house that you can not afford comfortably. Pre approvals do not take into concideration real life things like child support, or utilites on the home exc... Please keep in mind that this is a payment that your stuck with for 30 years. Instead of thinking in terms of what you qualify for, think in terms of what payment you are comfortable with. If you approach things this way your sure to be buying within your means and almost guarentee an approval when your ready.