This question is often asked, but rarely answered. Yes, you can try to refer this question to someone you know and respect...that uncle that used to be in construction or your college roommate who paid his way through by flipping properties, but ultimately it’s up to you. I can tell you from experience that if you try to defer the answer it is most always “NO”, for if they recommend you buy, and the deal goes poorly, they lose face. If things go badly, they say I tried my best to help you, and if it goes well they get to pat you on the back and say “well done!”
The truth of the matter is, different people find themselves in different situations. If, say, a location is close to your work and friends or relatives live in proximity, you could pay considerably more money than someone else and still have a better deal, so-to-speak. That’s why you have to sit down with your realtor and formulate a plan. Too often I’ve seen people running around looking at 6-8 homes a day and in the end, simply buying out of frustration. Be careful when choosing your Realtor, for a hard worker may just burn you out, but a smart worker will be effective!
You need to make a list of your properties and start with the location. Whether it is in the city or country, it can be a good starting our point, as you can then expand it out in order to eliminate homes.
Your financial institution can also help you establish your price range, an engineer can tell you if the structure is sound and your Realtor can help you find the home...but you have to determine the size, the number of bedrooms, style, etc. You also need to consider how big a mortgage you want to carry...not everyone wants to be house poor!
These are big decisions, but of you make an effort to find good people and you treat them with honesty and respect, they will do the same and the biggest purchase of your life may just be the best!