Tips On Buying Your First Home

This is a great article. Make sure if you are buying that you are ready to settle down in a spot for a few years.  I would recommend at least 5 years in this market.

Even though they state to keep you debt ratios at 28% for your mortgage and 36% with all other monthly liabilities (student loans, credit cards, cars, etc.) I would say to not go over 31% and 43%.  I do understand that some people may show less on their returns then they actually make such as self-employed borrowers or you may have someone else who will be renting with you, a significant other, etc who may not be able to go on the loan.  In this case you may consider going a little higher but be very careful, what you are pre-qualified for and what you are comfortable with or can afford are 2 different things.

Always keep in mind ongoing costs.  It’s not like renting where your landlord will pick up the cost of the repairs.  Also, if you have children, private schooling, etc. you need to factor that in to your equation too.  Make sure to have money set aside for a rainy day. 

http://finance.yahoo.com/how-to-guide/real-estate/12819