The very first step, of course, is to get a FULL PRE-APPROVAL, not a pre-qualification. Having a full pre-approval will make you almost as good as a cash buyer.
Banks have certain packages that you must fit. Mortgage brokers, look for a bank that will fit your profile. Mortgage Banker/Brokers not only look for a place to fit your profile, they have their own "bank" that can also fund your mortgage.
So, you have lots of choices. I will be happy to supply you with names and contact information for all of the above. You should NEVER have to pay anything to get a pre-approval. If someone is asking for money, run!
Once you know exactly what you qualify for, look for a home that is less! Do not spend your full allowance. It is important to have money to fix up the house your way, vacation, go out to dinner, the movies, etc. Just because you qualify for more does not mean you have to spend it.
When you have your financing capability in place, that is when you start looking for a home...NOT BEFORE!
We at Gladstone Group would be delighted to assist you in your search...let us know when you are ready.