Are you trying to shop for a house before a mortgage? Do you find that you keep ending up in neighborhoods that are beyond your price range? How did you come up with your price range? And do you even know what your price range means? These are just some of the questions I ask people when they call to want to look at one of my listings, and I won't show them the house until they can answer these questions to my satisfactory, which my sellers love. Less unqualified people walking through their home.
To start with, if you haven't talked with a mortgage professional first, you have no idea what you can be approved for on a loan. Many people think they get to pick a mortgage payment that they are comfortable with and stay under that. There is much more to it than that. Everything is based off of a debt to income ratio. You might think you can afford a $1500 payment, but the numbers might tell us you are approved for only $1200.
Do you know what is included in a mortgage payment when the lender approves you? The final mortgage number typically includes your principal payment, your interest, the home owner's insurance, and your taxes. This puts things into a different perspective for a lot of buyers who think they will need to pay taxes and insurance separately. It helps them into a higher price range to be able to afford more of a home that they want.
I work with several mortgage people and I know they would welcome the opportunity to answer any further questions you would have. I'm not a tour guide so no one gets into my car without an approval letter!