It takes money to buy a home: yours or theirs. If you're not going to pay cash for a home, you need to find out exactly what you can borrow and what it will cost before you start looking at homes.
The mortgage process is not as clear cut a path as it was a few years ago. It is certainly more complex, takes longer and assumes that you're credit worthy. If you have less than stellar credit, a trusted mortgage professional can advise you how to improve your individual situation.
You are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus each year. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to get a copy of each from TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Read the reports to determine if they're accurate. Surprisingly, about 90% of all reports have errors.
You can try to correct them directly with the credit bureau, but a trusted mortgage professional can help you with this process too. They have tools that are not available to individuals. Some errors may not be serious but others will keep a person from qualifying.
Housing affordability is at a near record height due to the incredibly low interest rates and low home prices. Some areas are experiencing absorption of the inventories which could impact price. If you're going to use 'their' money to buy a home, the first step is to talk to a trusted mortgage professional. Call me for the name of a trusted mortgage professional.