Before you start looking at homes, you'll need to have some estimate of how much you can truly afford to spend each month on your new home.
It can save you a lot time and heartache by making sure you are looking in the correct price range to start with. (Calculators).
With a long list of charges at settlement, it's important to know what the closing costs on a house are before you start to buy.
The quick answer is 1.5% - 4% of the purchase price of the house. The biggest determining factor as to whether you get to pay the 1.5% or closer to the 4% is your credit and your knowledge of the loan process.