Your first consideration should be to review your personal budget before visiting a loan specialist to determine your financial limits and get pre-approaved for a mortgage.
Once you have determined the extent of your price range you can comfortably consider the features, location, and price range to consider for your search.
With this accomplished you are no ready to begin your search. This can be done independently, using resources like Trulia, realtor.com, zillow.com, homes.com etc. or you can seek the assistance of a real estate professional to support you. Many people elect to do both, search independently and use a realtor.
One of the benefits of engaging a professional is they know the area and often have access to opportunities before they become public.....a wonderful way to find "best opportunities" and get the biggest bang for your buck.
Lloyd, the fact that you are requesting information is an indication that you are ready to make the move. This is a great time to be considering buying, one that presents real opportunity to buyers. Good luck.
The Eckler Team
Michael Saunders & Company