My wife and I are thinking about buying our first house, but are concerned about the amount we can afford. I have been looking at short sales, but don't know much about them. We don't have any money to put down, and a Realtor told us we could possibly qualify for grants for closing costs/down payments. Basically, together we make around 43k annually. Right now, I am renting a 2 bed 1 bath apartment (750 sqft) for $798 a month, and it will be increasing 6% in July. I am comfortable with that payment now, but of course would like a cheaper payment. Any first time home buyers out there that can offer us some advice from their experience? Starting this process is very stressful, and I think its because I am going about it the wrong way.