Even if it’s a city you have lived in your whole life, every neighborhood is a little different. Take the time to learn about crime statistics, school quality, amount of traffic, and more. The more educated you are about specific areas, the more of an informed decision you will be able to make.
ATTEND OPEN HOUSES
Come prepared with questions to ask when visiting open houses. Take notes and pictures (if given permission) of both what you like and don’t like and any issues you may have to deal with if you buy the home (ex. water damage). Remember that these are still people’s homes. Remove your shoes if asked to (so always remember to wear socks, just in case) and don’t bring small children (or pets) who might damage property or be a distraction to other people. Feel free to check out the size of closets, but leave dresser drawers closed. Be polite and leave your criticisms until after you’ve left. You never know who might be listening and you don’t want it to affect your ability to buy the home later.
CONSIDER YOUR FUTURE
Many people go into the home buying process just thinking what is going to work for them right now. Are you planning on adding to your family in the future? Will you probably want to move again in a couple of years? How committed are you to this particular area and your current job? If you feel like there's a chance you may have to uproot again in a couple of years, it might be wise to put off buying for awhile.
PREPARE FOR POST PURCHASE
Owning a home is expensive, so start saving money that is specifically for routine maintenance and repairs that you will need to handle. The better maintained your home, the less likely you will need repairs and the more you may be able to sell it for in the future. You also need to take items, such a furniture, into account when planning the budget for your new home.