Establish your true "needs" of your new home. Asking questions like- Why are you moving now? What are you hoping to accomplish with this move? What budget and cash down do you have to work with? Where would you like to live?
After answering these questions is to talk to a lender. Spend the extra time up front finding out what you can qualify for and what you can expect with the different types of loan programs. In this competitive market it is vital to have a pre approval or lender letter in hand before beginning to look at homes and narrowing your searches. It normally takes a few days for this process but is well worth it and eliminates many surprises that can come up later on.