You asked, "What do I do next?" To give you a good, knowledgeable answer that best serves you, the person you decide to hire as your real estate consultant needs to know the answers to some thought provoking questions.
Most importantly, we need to know what short term problems do you want to solve and what long term goals do you want to achieve? What does your ideal home look like? I recommmend that you get together with an accomplished, caring real estate consultant, who can help you gain clarity.
One step that is crucial to your successful purchase is to become pre-approved with a competent lender. There are some incredible programs now for first time home buyers (anyone who has not owned a home within the last three years!). Any good real estate consultant can refer you to an excellent lender. Real estate agents normally know dozens of lenders to whom they can refer you, based on your individual needs. On my website, http://www.mcknightrealty.com
, under About the Area / Service Providers, I have recommended several lenders.
Your next best step is to set up a Buyer Consultation with a real estate consultant, who can lead you through the intricate process of purchasing real estate. I wish you the best in your real estate investing process!