The first step before looking at homes is getting mortgage pre-approval from a bank mortgage broker or an independent mortgage broker. This will either tell you how much they will lend you and at what interest rate, or what you need to do before you can borrow and get pre-approved. They typically look at things like your income, the amount available for a down payment and your credit history.
Having pre-approval gives you a better idea of which homes you should look at and can afford and it lets your realtor know that you are a serious buyer.
There is nothing worse than finding out after an offer is made that you can not get the financing and your dream home purchase crashes!
Here are some great sites to use to help get a better idea about mortgages and pre-approval:
Step 3: Housing Options