I would suggest you go to your bank and ask to meet with their Loan Officer. It would be the best place because your a customer of theirs and they know you, and would be more inclined to help you. You must first be qualified in order to submit an acceptable offer. It also makes sense to know what your budget is before you go out looking at homes to purchase. As a Real Estate Broker and Property Mgr, I completely understand how tenants/renters feel about home ownership vs. renting. I would like to see you experience home ownership once again, but first things first: You need to speak with a Loan Officer at your bank and get qualified. That is the first step. If I can answer any additional Q's and/or concerns you may have, do not hesitate to call and/or email. To your Success!
As long as your fico score is above 640 you should be able to purchase a home!
If you need help looking for a lender go on to Lenderlister.com
If you're not working with a Realtor, I suggest you get one right away. The FIRST and foremost step in purchasing a home is to get with a Realtor. Check with friends and family to see if they can refer someone to you or research sites, such as this one to find a good professional Realtor. Your SECOND step is to get pre-qualified for a loan. AFTER you find a Realtor, he or she will have you meet with the lender that he or she uses regularly. This is important. Please let me know if I can help or if you have any more questions.
Keller Williams Realty
Prudential California Realty