Hi James, First choose a lender you can trust and get a pre qualification. What that is, is an estimate of how much house you can afford and how much money a lender would be willing to loan you. The best time to get a pre-qualified is right at the beginning of your home buying process, before you even start looking at houses. The top questions and answers you want to get from a lender are providing information on your income, assets, debts, and a potential down payment amount. There is no cost when you get a pre qualification in helping you figure out if buying a home is a viable option, and if so, what your price range would probably be. If you then are approved and have a loan amount that can help you achieve the purchase of your home, the next step would be looking around and finding the home that best suits you. Wish you the best of luck!