I have a friend who is currently house hunting with her DH. Yes, they can probably afford the houses they are looking at, but they won't, if that makes sense. Their current rent is quite a bit less than what their mortgage, insurance and taxes will be (property taxes here are crazy high). And they still struggle to pay all their bills. They could afford them, but they are so ridiculously irresponsible with money. They blow it all on stupid crap, then run on fumes until pay day. Our property taxes are also reassessed each year, and since we are one of the fastest growing parts of the country, they go up every year. To give you an idea, our property taxes are now about the same as our mortgage payments. They've doubled since we bought our house 13 years ago. But we can afford it. I know they are going to screw up and eventually lose the house they buy. I feel bad because they have two boys who will get shuffled from school to school.