While you may have been approved for a certain amount to purchase a house, it will be up to you to determine whether or not you can really afford to go up to that amount, or whether you really want to. There are other things you should be considering along with what your monthly mortgage payments will be when it comes to deciding how high you want to go when buying a home.
Do you live in an area with extreme temperatures?
If you are going to be buying a home in an area that has extremely high temperatures in the summer months and extremely low temperatures in the winter months, then you should consider the cost of heating and/or cooling your home. If you anticipate very high expenses during some months, this can affect the amount you can easily afford for a mortgage.
To get a good idea of exactly what kind of bills you are looking at, you should also consider how well the home is insulated, whether or not it has double-paned windows, whether or not it has tinted windows, whether or not the attic is completely insulated, and the type of heating and cooling the home has. You may be able to call the electric company on your own and ask what the high bills for that address tend to be.
How expensive are the stores in that area?
Some areas can charge a lot more for just about everything, from gas to groceries. Even fast food and sit-down restaurants can be more expensive. A lot of times, you can see this when you decide to purchase a house that is in a smaller city on the outskirts of a larger city. However, at least when you move to a place like this, you have the option to travel into the bigger city for cheaper prices. You can also see higher prices in cities where the cost of living is more, simply because the area caters to people with higher income levels.
Do you enjoy spending a good amount of money for hobbies and interests?
If you are a person who enjoys taking lavish vacations, gets a lot of pleasure out of expensive shopping trips, likes to be pampered at the spa on a fairly regular basis and has expensive taste in jewelry, or if you have other interests or hobbies that you'd like to be able to continue enjoying having extra money to spend on, then you may need to factor this in as well. Buying a more expensive house may mean you would need to cut back on some of these, and it's up to you to decide whether or not you want to do so.