You may want to look into purchasing a condo instead of a single family home due to the difficulty of finding an actual home to purchase in that price range. I would suggest you actually get completely loan approved instead of just prequalifying too. The approval will give you a leg up with the Seller so they know you are good to go. The prequalification process doesn't actually give you the commitment from the lender.
Because the market is so hot right now, the stronger you make your offer, the better. For example, you may want to save as much money money as you can to pay your own closing costs. This also will help you when competing with other Buyers. You will have to factor in the HOA dues when purchasing a condo, so make sure you find out how much they are. You may have an issue as well in the future if you are wanting to rent it out, as not all condo's allow you to "Automatically" turn your condo into a rental when you decide to move out and up. The market is the best I have seen in 20 years of selling real estate in Vacaville though, so if you can make it work, it would definitely be a great thing for you! Do you have a 401K or retirement account? If so, you may be able to borrow against that to help with your down payment too if you are a little short. My Buyer's have been very successful utilizing that money too and in some cases, the interest you are paying back for borrowing the money from your retirement account actually goes back INTO your own account! So you are paying yourself back the money too! Just be careful as you want to factor in making sure you can afford to make the payment required to pay back the retirement account. If you have any questions, please feel to let me know! Thank you!
Amy Webber (707) 328-2082 cell