This answer gets a little complicated, because there are several moving parts: the amount your lender approves, housing costs in addition to your mortgage and your monthly non-housing expenses. A lender will look at your income, assets and debt to determine the maximum amount they will loan to you. However, you will need to pay other home-related costs each month in addition to your mortgage, such as property taxes and homeowners insurance. In most cases, you will be required to pay private mortgage insurance each month if you are putting less than 20% down. Additionally, you’ll need to factor in the monthly cost for utilities, upkeep and homeowners association dues, if applicable. It’s good to start by adding up your monthly income and expenses, including childcare, car payments, etc. This will help you determine what you can realistically afford to pay each month.