Choose a house in decent shapeEither a home will be turnkey and ready to move into or it will be a fixer upper. Just because a home needs work doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad investment, but some homes turn into money pits and can burn through savings. Having a thorough home inspection ensures that there are no serious surprises when home improvements begin, but it's the safest bet to choose something newer that won't require a lot of work up front.
Have financial sense
Buying real estate needs to be a smart financial decision. If it's not, it can do serious harm to savings, credit and cash flow. When deciding on a home to purchase, it's best to think of everything rationally and work out finances ahead of time. People can get emotionally attached to houses and send rational thought out the window. As hard as it might be to walk away from something that won't make the smartest investment, it will be for the best. Figuring out a budget and how home payments fit into that budget is essential to stay on track with money. Additionally, it's best to aim for long-term financing. Refinancing a property can cost extra money, so going through the experience only once can save sanity and peace of mind.
Be insured and understand the policies
Make sure all of the proper insurance is in place for the amount appropriate for the property. Discuss with an insurance agent what all of the terms in the policy mean, should an issue arise, so it won't be a shock later. Having the standards covered like fire, flood and other disasters is a smart move. In addition, it's often required that buyers purchase title insurance, especially if the home has been owned previously. Title insurance will protect the new homeowners in case of issues with the title, like a lien. Understanding what this policy covers is just as important as with other insurance. Considerable title issues are rare but do happen, and it's best to be protected ahead of time than try to deal with the fallout after the fact.