First things first
- Like most things in life, if you start with step one before proceeding to step two, you'll find that everything comes together easier.
If you're thinking that you are ready to buy a home, step one is to get pre-approved for a home loan. I know it's not as interesting as actually going into a house, but it will save you from some unexpected surprises down the road.
You can start with a phone call to your local bank, to ask about their mortgage programs. You can ask your family and friends who they used for a mortgage and if they were happy with their service. Or I can refer you to a professional, reputable mortgage loan officer.
The pre-approval process will let you know what price range you can afford in a house and what your monthly payments will be. It will also let you know if you have any credit issues that need some work or if you need to wait a little while longer to save up for a larger down payment.
Most sellers and their listing agents want to see a written pre-approval letter along with the purchase contract, when an offer is made on a home.
If you're seriously ready to buy a house, then start at the beginning and get pre-approved for a loan. This is the foundational step to buying a home, and without it we don't have a clear direction.