You have received some great advice so far, and I would like to add that the rule of thumb is never go as high as you are approved for. For instance, if the bank or mortgage company tells you that you are pre-approved or pre-qualified for $150,000, don't buy a home for more than $130,000. If they say $100,000, don't go over $80,000. Most first-time home buyers do not understand the future costs of owning a home.
I think it is a great time to buy, but be conservative. You can always pay extra on your mortgage and pay it down quicker and save a ton of interest. Then maybe in a few years, you can sell that home for a good profit and buy a bigger and better one and so on.
Too many buyers make the mistake of squeezing every last dime out of thier paycheck to buy the home of their dreams only to lose it later. Don't be one of those buyers.
Interview different lenders and agents and try to find the ones that advertise first-time home buyers as their specialty. They are full of great information that will not only help you through the initial process, but also advise you in a way that you will benefit for many years to come.
Good luck on finding your first home!