Sometimes, when looking to buy a home, it feels as though you are looking for a needle in a haystack. Often times, people do not even know what they want in a home when they go looking. This is why realtor's jobs are so stressful at times! With that said your first step would be to find a good Realtor that understands your needs, is patient, professional and willing to go the extra mile. After all, that is what their business entails.
When first thinking about the size of your home, think about the size and space you will need. What features are needed for you or you and your family to live comfortable? This is sometimes the hardest question for people to answer because their first instinct is what they want and not what they need. Once you establish what your minimums are, you can go establish what your wants are. Then, you can establish a maximum price you are willing to spend on a home. You should know what general market conditions are like and what a minimum value home will typically bring regarding space and what a maximum value home will bring regarding space. Your realtor can bring the specifics, but it is also best to be knowledgeable yourself.
When you narrow down your houses from your Realtor or internet searches, etc., you can then begin to look at them. Keep in mind; homes are being sold every day so one you look at today might be gone tomorrow. Do not get your heart set on one too quickly, or you will be very disappointed if it falls through or is taken. It is best to really evaluate all your options before selecting one specific one. There are many houses on the market, especially in this market, that are a great deal. If you are looking for a home to live in and trying to get a great deal, please note, investors are usurping these properties like there is no tomorrow. If you are looking into foreclosed home resale's, or bank owned properties, you will need to be quick to the punch. One hour they will be there, one hour they won't.
In general, make sure the structure of the home is in good condition. If you are interested in a home, you will want to get a home buyer's inspection. This saves a lot of headaches down the road. Although it costs money out of pocket on top of the purchase of the home, it will definitely be a lot less than if your roof needed to be replaced. A typical home buyer inspection costs around $300-$400 for a standard home. The rest of the home, besides structural, will be the home buyer's preference. This is where a good seller versus a bad seller plays out. If the home is esthetically pleasing and well kept, you can pretty much rest assured that this home is free of neglect. Those homes that look like they have been beaten need a closer look.