I noticed you state in your profile not to hesitate to contact you. I own the ONLY website in the Des Moines area just for first-time homebuyers. You will find a LOT of answers to your questions there, and any answers you don't find, I would be more than happy to answer personally. The URL is: http://www.desmoinesfirsttimebuyers.com/
I can also email you homes from ALL Des Moines area mls real estate companies -- this saves you time so you don't have to browse from website to website, and it is very up to date.
If you aren't working with an agent yet, my wife Danielle and I would love to help you. As I said, we specialize in working with first-time buyers. Check out my website and you'll see what I mean. However, if you ARE working with someone already, it's not my desire to step on anyone's toes or try to "take you away" from them. You should work with the agent that you feel most comfortable with -- and most Buyer Agents are free, to you.
Either way, I hope that my website helps you. Again, the website address is: http://www.desmoinesfirsttimebuyers.com/
Mike & Danielle Davis
Have a great day and good luck in your search.