Start with a piece of paper or a notebook and write down what exactly you need to survive in your shelter.
Then add what you would also like to have.
List out the areas and/or commuting times.
Discuss your writings with the family and ask for input.
Then do your current monthly budget allowing for saving, emergency funds and a margin of error, so you decide how affordable each level of luxury is. A mortgage calculator app on your phone is handy...
Tweak this list daily for a week and when you are sure about it, ask a local Realtor in the area you want to live in for some initial guidance. They will suggest you get a preapproval letter in writing.
Then with the guidance and the letter, you can look at and discuss the best choices.
When you find the one that works best for you, your Realtor can write up the offer for the seller.
When you and seller agree to the terms, papers are signed and then the attorney review period and home inspection periods begin, while you also apply for your mortgage. Then you help the mortgage company with any papers they need until it is approved. Then everyone goes to the closing and you get the keys.
Congratulations are in order at that point.