The first step is to find a lender who'll give you the best rate and get pre-qualified for a loan. Once you are pre-qualified for a home loan, you'll know how much you can afford. The next step is to find a REALTOR to help you search for the perfect home that fits your budget. Once the home is found, an offer on the property can be made and if all goes well, you'll begin the steps of settlement that will land you your perfect home.
OK, so 3 of us agree: GET PREAPPROVED (with a local direct lending mortgage banker). I'm happy to share referrals, if you're interested.
Here's a link to an excellent guide prepared by Movoto.com: http://www.movoto.com/first-time-home-buyer-guide