Since this is your first house, look at your finances and decide if continuing to rent or if now is the right time to buy is an important first step. Here is a quick tool to compare renting vs owning in regards to costs.
It is important to understand current market conditions and how interest rates affect your purchasing power or what a higher purchase price equates to in terms of a monthly payment.
If you’re feeling good about your preliminary numbers then a good next step is to get pre-approved. Not only will your pre-approval let you know what your total purchasing power is you can also work backwards and decide what monthly mortgage payment you’re comfortable with and ask the lender what loan amount would fit that payment.
To help you organize your wants and needs and to help your agent find the area that fits these here is a checklist to fill out: