You aree right on target by getting preapproved and knowing what you can afford. Most lenders require that the appraisal be done to make sure that you and they are covering because a seller can "ask" any price but if the market is selling in a different value then you will want to know that. If you are already working with an agent we generally make sure that you understand the process every step of the way. There is really nothing to fear as this is the process for most mortgages today and though it may seem that they ask you for so much information it will be well worth it the first night you are in your new home.
If you have not already chosen an agent I am here in the Lincoln area and can answer any further questions you might have for this exciting start for you and your wife. Congratulations!
RE/MAX Properties Unlimited