When you can comfortably afford the note
Don’t roll your eyes at this because some people’s dreams are bigger than their current financial situation. You really need to make sure that you can comfortably afford the amount of house you wish to buy without relying too much on financial variables that could put you in the red. As a test, try saving each month the difference you would pay for mortgage. For example, if you think you can pay $2,000/month and are currently paying $1,000 monthly in rent, try to save the other $1,000 over time. Do you struggle to pay your other financial obligations? Are you still able to save for short-term and long-term needs? As a rule of thumb, your mortgage should be one third of your income.