How early is too early?!

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Hey all!

I am just at the starting point of searching for my first duplex. My projected timeline, i would really like to find a deal and close by about September-October. I am on a month-to-month lease so if my timeline is moved further out, i should be fine (my hope, timeline stays the same). Looking through BP and discussions, my timeline is really all at the discretion of the current market. I guess my question is, as a Newbie, is it too early to get out and start looking? Should i already be out there and analyzing deals, even with a few months ahead of me? How long did it take you to close on your very first deal? Any factors i should keep in mind? Also, Is anyone in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area that can speak to the current market? Any input will be gladly appreciated.

I will focus on the loan approval issue now. How much you are prequalified for?  Most people look at more expensive homes beyond what they can afford and find what they are qualified are inferior.  

Plan on 30-45 days from the time your offer gets approved. You can look on the internet the minutes you know what you are qualified for. If you are picky and do not know the market it can be months before you are into contract. Pros like us we know the market and price it takes two afternoons look at a few. But that took many years to get to this level. Most of MF you do not get to see inside unless after the offer is accepted. Tenants do not even know the property is sold. Therefore you need a good realtor to guide you.