It is certainly nowhere as easy as going to the bank and stating your income on a piece of paper and getting approved these days. However, do not let that deter you.
The very first thing to do when you decide to purchase a home is look at your credit report, know your credit score! if there are blemishes on your credit, you will have to fix them before you can be approved to get a mortgage. Also, if there is something on your credit that you know should not be there, you may be able to get those removed. Make sure that you leave plenty of time to fix any problems that may affect your credit score. In other words, do not check your credit and expect to fix problems in only a month, leave about six months to fix these marks before applying for a mortgage.
Some home loans require much less than twenty percent down on a loan, but you should expect to pay that. Start saving for a down payment now! Lastly, figure out your budget, what exactly you can spend on a home and still have enough money for other necessities in life. Remember to know what you want in a home, the features and characteristics that are essential to you. Convey this to your real estate agent so that you all have a great understanding of what you are looking for.
This will certainly make the home buying process much easier!