The most important step you can take is to get pre-approved by a reputable lending institution. By having a guaranteed loan you can shop with confidence.
There are many types of mortgage loans available. As a buyer you should discuss with your lender what loan program best fits your needs. In some cases there may be down payment assistance available. Be sure to inquire.
A lender will pull your credit report to determine your credit worthiness. Be prepared to provide requested information e.g. pay stubs, bank statements and tax returns.