As many of the Trulia members said below, the first step is having a discussion with a mortgage banker. I would be happy to walk you through the process in detail. I have been writing loans for 13 years and love helping first time homebuyers. The excitement of seeing someone get the keys to their first house is second to none.
Check out my profile here on Trulia by clicking my picture. I work for JPMorgan Chase in Manhattan, but can meet you in Jersey City at any branch to sit down with you to discuss.
Shoot me an email at email@example.com if you are interested in talking. If anything, use our discussion as learning session and a time to ask any questions around buying a home.
Hope to hear from you.
The first step is to be pre-qualified for a mortgage so you are clear about what price home you can afford.
Second, I would suggest that you begin to identify the area you would like to live in.
Third, meet with a realtor who knows the area you are looking in and identify what exactly you are looking for in terms of #of bedrooms, bathrooms, amount of renovations needed, etc.
Fourth, the realtor will identify properties that fit with all or most of you qualifications and will begin showing you these properties.
Please feel free to call or e mail me to discuss this.
To make your search as stress-free as possible you should first decide what your "must-haves" vs. "nice to-haves" are including where you want to live.
From there, you should be pre-qualified by a LOCAL (I cannot stress local enough) reputable Mortgage Lender to understand what your income can truly afford and then determine, based on your life style, what a comfortable mortgage payment would be including taxes and HOA fees, if a condo/coop.
If you do not know a LOCAL reputable Mortgage Representative I have a few excellent individuals that I work with who I can refer you to.
Once we have these two pieces of the puzzle figured out we can put a plan together to find you YOUR DREAM HOME!
Give me a call at 973.868.4034 or email me at EmilVeltre@aol.com to schedule a call to discuss or so that I can answer any further questions.
Have a GREAT day!
Emil Veltre, RPh, MS, CDPE
Public Trust Realty Group
Cell #: (201) 362-5600