If your budget is $850k, then your budget is $850k. Even if you can qualify for more, but know that you need to stop at $850k for reasons a lender might not see or know about, then I would advise you to stop at $850k. If it's a case of not being able to qualify for more, than one certainly has no business acting like he/she can make it to the finish line and hoping for a miracle; a buyer could lose their earnest money deposit to a (justifiably) disgruntled seller. It's OK to put in offers under asking price and make them as attractive as possible, by giving the seller most all of the other variables that buyers usually negotiate for. Be careful.
I live in downtown HB and know all of HB very well; if you're not working with one agent specifically, please contact me and I'll be happy to guide you to greatness on this purchase. I am an expert in mortgage financing as well as Realtor sales, and would welcome the opportunity to assist you.
James Melton, top 2% of Orange County Realtors (Orange Coast Magazine)
Realtor & Mortgage Broker, CA DRE Broker #01222353, NMLS #300133
President, Victory Mortgage & Real Estate Home Loans & Sales Since 1979, NMLS #366399
2901 W. PCH, Suite 200, Newport Beach, CA 92663
cell(714)318-4664, phone(949)939-9676 or (714)374-0022, fax(714)844-9094