Here's a great article discussing where to start. Not such a daunting task if you have a tidy little check list. I always argue when financing isn't first on the list. I've had clients completely broken hearted when they thought they had found their absolute dream home only to find out that their debt to income ratio was too high and they couldn't get financing. Not only could they not afford their dream home but they couldn't get financing for any home. They had to continue renting and paying someone else's mortgage. How disheartening it was.
So………. financing, financing, financing and then location, location, location (with an awesome realtor)