First time home buyers can easily feel overwhelmed by the enormity of buying a house...so my first bit of advice is find a real estate agent that you feel comfortable working with (preferably a buyer's agent). A good agent will help explain the "big picture" of buying a home so you understand each step as you go along. Next, speak to a lender and have a pre-approval letter in hand...this will keep everyone on the same page when you look for a home. You know exactly what you can spend, and not a penny more. It will keep you from looking at houses you cannot afford. Finally, create a "need" vs. "want" list; items on your "need" list will be things you absolutely must have (ie: 2-car garage, large back yard). Items on your "want" list will be things that would be nice (whirlpool tub, skylights), but that you don't have to have. So now you have everything you need to start looking for a home: 1) a buyer's agent, 2) a pre-approval letter from your lender, and 3) a "need" vs. "want" list. Happy home shopping!
Kris Plechaty - First Weber Group Realtors