To do this I recommend most buyers (especially inexperienced or first time buyers) seek the advice of a trusted lender - ideally their local banking institution as as a starter. Later on in the process their will be time to shop lenders for services, rates and costs.
This fist step is the mortgage pre-approval process. Note that mortgage pre-qualification means little to a seller.
Pre-qualification does not involve a lender examining your credit history, employment history, income, expenses etc. Mortgage pre-approval will tell you the maximum amount of mortgage you can qualify for based on the results of the lender research. That is what you want to know.
Here is the key for all buyers - “qualified for” should not be interpreted as “should spend" nor is it meant to be your budget.
The real question how much do you want to spend every month for housing. Make sure you understand that there are other numbers to consider when buying a home.
It is at this point you need to find a local real estate agent who can guide you along the home buying process.
Your real estate agent should tell you what is available within your total expenditure goal.
At this point you may have to modify your housing requirements (what you must have, can't have and can live without for now).
If you are considering buying a home in Rockledge, Suntree, Viera or Merritt Island, call me at 321-693-3850 if I can help in any way.