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Mortgage calculations are all over the place-what can we really afford?

I don't want to contact a bunch of lenders and have them calling all the time but my husband and I are first time homebuyers.  He works, income is $43500.00/yr.  Only debt in his name is car note:412/month.  Credit score 629. 

Do you think we would qualify for a 1st time home loan, roughly how much for North Raleigh areas?  Every calculation I get is either different or they want me to provide extra information for someone to call us.
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May 04 2013 - Raleigh
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Some things you might consider is how much you currently pay for rent, how much you have saved up, and and how much your expenses may change moving to a different area.

Arbitrarily if you have a rent of $800, and your house payment is $750 I would say thats a no brainer as long as you have some money to put down along with some savings in case you need to take care of a major repair.

Along the same lines, if your rent is 650$ and you want a 750$ house payment, go 6 months with not touching the extra 100 and see how that affects your finances.

Also if you are moving further away from work, or places you frequent the associated costs of gas and time can change the rest of your budget.  

Qualifying for a loan doesnt always make it the best decision and banks can be flaky when it comes time to move.  I would tell you your best course of action is to figure out what works best for you, and then take the plunge.
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September 27 2013
I'm tacking onto SoCal)Engr's response...

Just because a bank will qualify you for $x, doesn't mean you want to live with the monthly financial obligations associated with the size of that loan!

Think about what your budget should be, then speak with a lender to get preapproved.  Getting preapproved is a major first step, which will require submitting info and speaking with a lender if you want to get serious about buying.

Good luck!
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May 04 2013
You really need to consult with a mortgage professional one on one. Don't trust just website advice. 
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May 04 2013
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Zillow has a basic affordability calculator here.  There are no concerns with having to get calls, etc.

With a 629 credit score (is this the middle score?) and reasonable employment history, it's likely (I'm not a lender, so eventually you will need to talk to one to get the final yes/no decision) you could get a loan.

However, you're going about things a bit backwards. All these calculators simply tell you what the lenders use a guidelines. The only person who can really determine what you can afford is you. What does your budget indicate? Remember, home ownership also entails set-asides for maintenance and/or repairs - not just the standard monthly expenses.
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May 04 2013
 
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