Contact your favorite bank or mortgage broker and get a pre-approval that will outline how much home you can afford.
Be ready for a few up front costs such as the home inspection and appraisal. Be prepared to pay closing costs and down-payment at closing.
The market has been HOT! Your competitors may be offering cash, some may offer quick closing. Be prepared to make an attractive offer... never low-ball. Talk to your lender on what your max offer can be and how quickly your lender can close your particular loan.
Be prepared to pay a non-refundable Due Diligence check as well as any Earnest Money negotiated. The more you can do, the more attractive your offer will be.
You will want to be prepared to immediately set up your due diligence inspections. In our area, costs for home inspections run an average of $450-650 with pest inspection, water inspection, septic inspection and radon tests costing additional. You will also need to be prepared to pay your lender for an appraisal.
Round up all those financial documents that your lender will need to submit the loan to underwriting!