Diane's answer is in my opinion right on. To stress the importance of talking with a lender first, imagine thinking you wanted a $300,000 home and began looking in this range.Then discovered you comfortably wanted to be in the $150,000 range. Having been looking in the higher range you may have a difficult time finding something that compares.
Finding and agent that you can work with is in my opinion critical. There is nothing that compares to a trusting, listening relationship between client and agent during the house hunting process.
I hope you have located your dream home and are happily enjoying it.