Here are some things to consider when buying your next home.
Make a list of features you would like your home to have; a pool, vaulted ceilings, a detached garage, etc... It is much easier to start out knowing what you want and being able to give your agent an idea of what it is that you are looking for in a home. It is also a good way to make sure that you stick to your initial goals of what you want in your new home. You may not be able to find a house that has every single feature that you want, but you will be able to compare several houses and decide which house has the features that will best suit you.
Think about the areas in which you would like to live and why you would want to live there. Some things to consider are:
A. How far would you have to commute?
B. What is the quality of the local schools?
C. Do you want to live in a rural or urban area?
D. Accessibility of shopping, entertainment and recreation.
Find an agent that knows and understands your wants and needs, so he/she can provide you with the properties most suitable for you. Make sure you feel comfortable with your agent; you will need to work with them through the process of buying your home. Your agent will help you find homes that are in your price range, help you find out how much you qualify for, and will take you out to look at properties.
Assess the buying process realistically. Finding a new home can be a lot of fun, but don't let your imagination get the best of you. When looking at properties, make sure that they are in your price range and have the features you are looking for in a home. When you are looking at homes consider any damage you see and how much it would cost to repair.
Make any offer contingent upon conditions that you set forth. Any damages on the property that you believe should be fixed by the seller should be included in the "contingencies," or conditions. An offer is usually made before you have complete information on the property, and the contract contingencies protect you until you can check things out in detail.
Remember you should have a home inspector come out and inspect the property prior to closing. Make sure the inspector is qualified and reliable. You must also allow time for the inspection to be done and to review the report before closing. The seller does not need to cover the costs for everything included in the report, but it is a good idea to include some of the repairs in the contingencies. Demanding the seller to repair every item or too many items on the report can cause the deal to fall apart. Your attorney and/or agent can give you more specific advice in the buying process.