When we were buying our place, we were amazed at the price the real estate agent said we were pre-approved for. We spent FAR less and we’ve never been sorry. Be very wary of these numbers. Make sure you can comfortably afford it, and still put braces on your kids if they turn out to look like Alfred E. Newman. I realize you don’t have kids yet, but you get the point.
Not having financial stress is a really, really good thing.
I agree with not borrowing from a family member. Think worst case scenario and you can’t pay it back. will that risk be worth possibly destroying a relationship.
Also agree with not stretching yourself to your max approval limit.
We were approved for $200k initially (damn student loans), got a house for $180k, so even wiggle room there. I got a new job where it would have bumped our limit to $350k. While the type of home in that range would be way nicer, we love our place and it will allow us to pay down our student loans quicker while still being able to do/buy things we want.