To get a quick idea of what you can afford to spend, multiply your annual gross income (before taxes) by 2.5. For example, if your annual household income is $50,000, you might be able to qualify for a $125,000 home. This is just a rough estimate - the actual number will vary based on factors such as your debt and credit history.
Mortgage lenders typically use the housing expense and debt-to-income ratios to more accurately determine how much you can afford to spend on your mortgage.
A mortgage lender, a housing counselor, or consumer credit counselor can help you better understand these guidelines. Before you talk to a financial professional, you can organize your financial picture by creating a budget [PDF 76K ]. Don't forget that you also have to save for the down payment, closing costs, inspections costs, moving, and other related expenses.