Do you have 20% saved (conventional loan down payment) or 3.5% (FHA down payment) plus around $8K for closing costs ? Also keep in mind, termite and home inspection is around $500 - depending on area where you live. I would first check your credit scores and get a pre-approval from bank/lender in order to know how much you can afford and what loan/interest rate you qualify for. After that, you can contact a realtor, the pre approval letter is good to submit with offer. Make sure you don't have drastic changes on credit or change jobs in middle of process, it can delay the closing because you have to submit documents to underwriter, they will verify that you've never had a late rent payment, verify employer, bank statements, etc.
We started looking in July, put in a few offers, offer got accepted Sept 5th and we closed on Oct 15th and moved in that evening. Keep in mind that it can get expensive, we weren't prepared for the extra expenses - $25 mailbox key, $40 to start Gas company account, since we didn't have a house before, we've had to buy lawnmower, water hose, window blinds - they were $130/each at Home Depot and we have a lot of windows, fridge, washer/dryer, etc.