HI, Chris . . .
I just got the message in my email that you posted this question and was just finishing a meeting with my loan officer here. I had him read your question and his response was this. First, he laughed and said, "No mortgages are " straight forward" anymore!"
Then he said to tell you that yes, ratios always apply, but the 28% does not. He said there is a max on the back end of 48%. And he would need more information from you in order to discuss the reserves. So he welcomes you to give him a call. HIs name is Tony Lopez, with Edina Realty Mortgage. Phone: 763.754.4765.
He's the best, Chris. In the past 3 months I have had buyers from all walks of life and incomes, and many of which were already "set" on anothe loan officer that they knew or becaue it was "their bank", and they have all - 100% - went with Tony because he literally beat the pants off of the competition. I would recommend giving him a call.
And I would be glad to help you with locating and negotiating the home you are looking for. The best part: I won't cost you one dime!