Okay, the first question you need to ask yourself is, How much can I afford?

If you don’t ask this question when buying a house, you might go with whatever number a lender approves for you. This could run you the risk of carrying a mortgage burden so large you possibly lose your investment. This question is the single most important question you should ask prior to considering a home purchase.

You should SERIOUSLY consider not taking on more than 25% of your net (take-home) pay. This 25% includes property taxes, home owner association fees, home owners insurance and private mortgage insurance, if applicable.

We have this convenient mortgage calculator to help you see how different items affect your purchase budget.