The first thing you want to do is establish credit. You need a credit card, or auto loan that is tracked by the credit bureaus. Make your credit card payments on time and try to carry a balance that is between 20% and 30% of your credit limit.
If you already have some form of credit, you can check this once a year by going to http://www.annualcreditreport.com.
You want a credit score in the 700s if possible, although 620 will get your foot in the door with most loan programs.
Once you know you have some credit -- call me because I would love to help you find and purchase a new house. I (as most realtors) will put you in touch with a loan officer who gets you prequalified for a mortgage. This helps you know whether you are currently qualified for a mortgage, and for how much. Knowing your price range helps you determine what kind of property you should be shopping for.
Of course shopping is the fun part. I will help you find a list of homes, make appointments to go see the ones that look good on paper, and finally determine which ones make your final cut.
Some buyers call the agent whose name is on the sign when shopping for a house. I strongly suggest you get your own real estate agent who will help you find the homes, schedule showings, make offers, and manage all the other tasks necessary to get you through the process -- on to closing and moving into your new home.
Please call me when you are ready to purchase, because I have years of experience and enjoy helping new individuals and families move into their own new home!