I can appreciate getting to know the area before you buy but keep in mind that right now rents are higher than mortgage payments on the same home typically. What that means to you is if you buy a home in an area that later you decide isn't quite right, you can still rent that home out for a profit to help offset the payments on the next home. You might have to qualify for both payments in full via the lender if you don't have a history of being a landlord however.
There are lots of programs that offer "first time home buyer" loans, grants and subsidized payments based on income/credit. Make sure you team up with a Realtor and lender that understands that market if you need it.
Agents that are used to dealing with relocation (like myself) have website tools that help you learn about the area and links to resources that can help you.
There are special loan programs by city as well, for example, in parts of Kuna/Star you might qualify for 100% financing, in Boise, there are programs for second deeds of trust to help with down payment and closing costs, there are loans that give you better deals if you have great credit, etc.
You can team up with a Realtor or real estate Broker, that can set you up with automated home searches that can email you updated data on homes matching your criteria so you can start learning even before you get here. Then, when you arrive, we can give you a personal tour of the area and explain why some areas sell for more than others and explain building options and differences between some of the builders.
Realtors are a great resource especially when you team up with one experienced in the market you need help with. We are independent contractors working under a Broker (unless like myself, I am the Broker). One of my agents does property management, so he can help you find a rental as well.
Hope this helps!