A good place to start is by using one of the many online mortgage calculators. By entering your income and a few other details, you’ll get an idea of how much home you might be able to afford. But even if the numbers don’t look good, don’t stop there. Calculators can only offer so much help, especially when there are lots of different variables that impact your potential to get a loan. So best advice? Sit down with an actual lender, run the numbers, look into special options, and then if you still don’t qualify for a loan, at least you’ve developed a relationship with a lender who can help you map out a plan. The take-away is that you don’t have to go it alone. The sooner you can reach out to professionals, the sooner you’ll be mowing your own lawn. Or not. You get to decide that part.