Sounds like ytou are in a holding pattern - it is too soon in my opinion to apply - wait a few months and when you are 3 months out start the process
Shorter if homes are abundant in your area..... the biggest thing is pay everything on time
and save as much cash as possible
Your credit is fine - income solid job history sounds like it is good
so it is just a waiting game
I'd recommend you get pre-approved no later than beginning of March, this will allow you plenty of time to shop around. You never know, you may end up falling in love with a short sale property which usually takes 30-60 days to get a contract acceptance on. If you have an alternative place to stay after your lease is up, or can extend it month-to-month, then you won't be under as much pressure... but to try and time making an offer/getting it accepted/closing to all coincide with the end of May can be pretty tough.