I think the most important thing to do is to talk to a mortgage person and start working the numbers. The programs are ever changing, so I think its always good to make sure you prepare and see where you stand. I have a wonderful mortgage guy who has never let me down if you would like his contact information. After getting pre-approved and talking to him about your financial situation, its best to start researching the areas or towns that you think you are interested in. I am a life Mass resident, so I know the area very well. This way, you can narrow in on some areas that you are focused in and learn more about them, their schools, taxes, etc. If you need any help with this, please let me know. Good Luck!