It seems like you can get on any website these days and find out how much mortgage payment is. This makes it easy for us to really dig in and start looking for houses. What many of these mortgage calculators don't include are taxes and insurance on a house. Insurance alone is a little bit of a moving target, so depending on what part of town you're living in, your payment could fluctuate.
Getting prequalified is a very simple step that we recommend taking prior to seeing any houses. Not to be confused with being pre-approved, getting pre-qualified is almost like obtaining just a warm fuzzy feeling from the bank that you have purchasing power. It all can be handled over the phone and usually takes 10 minutes or so with a lender.
This is a very good step to take before seeing homes is so you will know that you have the ability to purchase with no problems at all. This way we don't risk finding the house of your dreams, only to find out later that the payments may not be exactly comfortable for you and your family.