1. Be choosy, be realistic. You may never find the perfect home.
2. Do your homework before looking at homes. Determine exactly what features you want in a home and which are most important to you.
3. Get your finances in order. Examine your credit report and be prepared for down payment or closing cost.
4. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Talk to a lender now, before engaging a realtor.
5. Know your move in date. When does your lease end? Can you sublet? How tight is the rental market in your area.
6. Think long term. Are you looking for a starter home, or something to stay in for a long time? This could influence the type of home you would like to purchase, as well as the type of mortgage terms that would best suit you.
7. Don't become "house-poor". Buying the biggest home you can afford may leave no money for things such as maintenence and decor, plus it may make it hard for you to save money for other financial goals.
8. Don't take chances. Obtain a professional home inspection, and if possible a warranty from the seller to cover any defect within the first year.