The first thing to do is not find a Realtor or a Lender. Why? Because the selection of both are important decisions which can impact the process of buying a home in a Positive way or a negative way.
Agents are selling Services and you need to know enough about your options, types of Services available, your goals, your targeted market area ect.. to be able to ask the questions necessary and interview wisely so you make the correct selection for you.
Selecting an Agent is not a (Find a Agent) situation, you are hiring Services so show the responsibility needed to interview, ask questions, shop around, compares Services, Commissions, Fees and YOU choose an Agent to Hire that will best assist you in attaining your goal...
The same applies for a Lender..Choose Carefully and shop around....
The FIRST Thing you need to do is become as informed about the Process as possible, you are considering a Huge Financial obligation and will be making decisions which will impact your life for many years. It is your responsibility to yourself and family to take the Process/obligation seriously by informing yourself in preparation of decisions this important so you may act wisely.
Hud suggests 9 steps...
1. Figure out how much you can afford
2. Know your rights
3. Shop for a loan
4. Learn about homebuying programs
5. Shop for a home
6. Make an offer
7. Get a home inspection
8. Shop for homeowners insurance
9. Sign papers
I would suggest reading their page on buying and the resoning for the steps they suggest, plus review the resources/tools provided..
Use the internet...learn what you can about the Area you are interested in...Look at the Bank/Gov Foreclosure sites to get an idea of Pricing, the Process ect..The sites explain it all..The links to the Bank/Gov sites can be found here..http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/wiki/REO_Database_List.asp
Look at the local listings also and give yourself an idea of what's available....
This is the FED Gov. site for all Fed. housing loans, you can get specific information, compare options, or take a short questionnaire to determine your eligibility for each program.
Do what you are doing now....Ask Questions...Learn...Then Shop