Hi, you got some great answers and they are all true. First thing I always say, is speak to a lender. You need to know how much buying power you have and see what all of your loan options you can qualify for. Many cities have first time homebuyer programs, your lender can go over these with you.
I work in the Long Beach area and surrounding cities, if you need a name and number of a great lender, email me at email@example.com. It is just as important to interview lenders as it is to interview agents. You want to feel comfortable with the people you work with, purchasing a home is one of your most important purchases you will make in your lifetime.
Let me know if I can be of any help, would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and go over your wants and needs.
Best of luck!