When I often speak with buyers the first thing they tell me is that they are qualified to buy a home at “such and such price”. Upon further qualification, it often becomes evident that they have based this price range on what they think they can afford because of their income or mortgage calculators. While the later can be a good option, speaking with a lender is the best way to determine not only what you can afford, but whether you are even able to purchase a home. While many people have great incomes, it often comes down to credit scores and savings as well. Moreover, the lender will help you understand the right loan option for you (FHA, Conventional, CDA, or VA), the TOTAL costs (down payment and closing costs) required to purchase a home, and the best offer combination (price reduction, seller closing cost subsidy, or a combination of both) that will allow you use your cash in the best way possible.