Hi - Annette from Palm Harbor pretty much nailed your question. But it wouldn't hurt to talk to a national bank in your own area (one with branches in Spring Hill), to get an idea about what loans are available. Different loans have different requirements, as well as different costs and fees, and it's good to know where you stand before you go shopping. You can also ask for a pre-qualification letter - this is different than a pre-authorization or pre-approval. A prequalification letter simply states that if everything you tell them verbally checks out on paper, you'd be able to borrow X amount. Banks don't pull your credit reports for a pre-qual letter. Banks can usually gather your information verbally and issue you a pre-qual letter for free, and it doesn't take long to do.
A pre-authorization, however, takes longer to do, and the banks spend time reviewing paperwork like employment records, tax returns, etc. They also pull your credit. This is something you wouldn't want to do until you're actually ready to purchase. A pre-authorization is usually only good for a specified amount of time, and you usually have to pay a fee to get this done. Different banks have different policies about the length of time a pre-auth will be honored, and different fees for doing the financial history and credit check. Ask the bank what their policies and fees are for this.
I always tell buyers to shop for their financing before they shop for a house because of the differences in bank fees and requirements. Some questions you should probably ask your bank is which type of loan would be the best for you given your individual situation, what they charge for pre-authorization, and how long a pre-auth will be honored by the bank. Ask them about their bank fees and if any of them are negotiable. Ask them about the loan fees and typical closing costs associated with each type of loan for which you qualify.
Knowledge is power, so it's best to educate yourself about the lending practices of different banks, credit unions, and mortgage brokers before you actually need to use their services. That way you'll have the peace of mind of knowing you've chosen the right loan, and lending institution, for your purchase.
If I can be of further service to you, please let me know. I could begin sending Spring Hill listings to you now, so you can familiarize yourself with the market here if you like. I live and work in Spring Hill, and would be happy to help you.