Best place to start is to hire an Exclusive Buyer Agent to represent you. EBAs represent home buyers only, and work to get you the best price and most favorable terms. You can go to NAEBA.org for a referral to an EBA in your area.
I'm an EBA and I wrote a book called "Buying a Home: Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You". It will be the best $6 you've ever spent.