One of the first things I advise potential home buyers to do when searching for a home is to speak with a lender. This will help someone searching for a future home know where they need to start looking and what they can expect to get within their price range. If you're a first time home buyer, then chances are you will learn a lot from your talk with the lender.
The next thing that I advise buyers on, is that just because you can be approved for a certain amount, doesn't mean you should spend that amount. In fact, you should never buy at the top of your range.
It's very easy to get excited about the search for a new home, and I consider myself lucky to be in a career that affords me the right to see people experience that excitement. However, sometimes you to think rationally and your price range is the first place you can start that process. If you can be approved for $200,000, then you should think seriously about looking at homes in a lower price range and see what you come up with.
Who knows, you may find a home that works just fine and costs $20,000 to $30,000 less than your top range. When you buy at the very top of your price range, you run the risk of being what people call house poor. That means you can afford your house, but not much else. So, what if your car breaks down or you have an emergency? It's always best to give yourself a little cushion in case you need it. You may never have a problem, but it's better to have it and not need it, than it is to need it and not have it.