Re: Bulking when already fat
More a 'time of year/life' decision - but I imagine you' should cut first. Reasons below.
If you're in your 20's, you've got lots of time to build muscle, so cut down first. Should take about 4-5 months to get to a nice leanness, you may want to go down further to enjoy seeing your abs (as I'm currently going for as a former fatty)
If you're in your 40's and bodybuilding for the first time, bear in mind you will now never put on as much muscle mass as the average 20-something (unless you have very good genetics), and it will take you considerably longer (years, not months), so if max muscle mass is your ultimate goal, and you don't care how you look for a few years, then by all means bulk now. However, if you're here you probably DO want to look good, ie for the beach, so cut now, and bulk later.