The first step should definitely be to talk with a mortgage professional. If you don't have a local mortgage professional that you know and trust, I would be glad to give you some recommendations.
I actually wrote a blog post about the home buying process that might be helpful to you. Here is a link:
Based on your question you are looking at a down payment of around 5% to 7%. An FHA loan may be a good option for you. However, keep in mind that project homes that need repairs may not pass an FHA appraisal. A mortgage professional can tell you more about FHA programs.
Mass Housing is another program that you could consider. They have a program that allows for no mortgage insurance even though you are putting buying with less than a 20% down payment. Here is a link for more information:
I also have a first time home buyer's guide that I wrote that I would be glad to send you. Contact me if you are interested.
I hope this info helps you out. Thank you.
eXp Realty, Methuen, MA
There are first time home buyers programs in the Merrimack Valley that you could look into (you can email me if you need that info). You can also contact a lender to see what you qualify for (check smaller banks and credit unions) then get an experienced realtor to help you with the rest . Info@wenrealty.com
Hope that helps get you started!
Massachusetts Premier Buyer Brokerage
Step #1 = Sit down and speak with a loan officer or mortgage broker and it is best to talk with a couple.
Step #2 = Find a Realtor to work with and tell them what you learned in step #1. They will guide you from there.