The purchase of a home is a exciting time in anyone's life, especially if it is your first home. Naturally you want to find the best home that suits all of your needs, and your budget. This is a purchase that requires planning on every aspect. The last thing you ever want to do is impulse buy a home, only to find out later that there are problems with the home or that it does not suit your needs.
OK. Now its list time. Sit down with pen and paper and start planning out what you need in a home. Don't be afraid to think big, but stay within reason. Remember if you think you need a pool and cabana but can only spend $150,000.00 chances are you will be disappointed. Things like number of rooms, or a fenced yard, or proximity to work and schools should be the priority at this stage. You can also make a list of things that you would like to have in a home. This is where you can let your imagination run wild.
Consider all the aspects of the area you are planning to move into. Talk to some of the people that live there. Ask if they like living in the area. Try to find out if there are any problems with it. The long-term residents are a great source of information, and if they are to be your neighbors, get to know them! Also be sure to find out about the schools and recreational programs in the area if you have children. Another good thing to look into is the kind of commute you can expect to deal with getting to work every day. If there are major congestion problems between the area and the home then you might want to consider a different location.
With these things in mind you can now begin to look at the available homes. When you have found something that suits your needs and wants, its time to start your homework on the home itself. Have a thorough inspection conducted to determine the structural integrity of the home and the condition of the plumbing and wiring. Also have the home inspected for mold, as mold can cause health problems and structural problems in the long term. Never forget; this is likely the largest purchase you will ever make. You can not afford to not be picky!