Once you have a good idea about your finances, you'll need to think clearly about the home you'd like to buy.
Try to buy a home that meets most of your needs for the next 5 to 10 years, or find a home that can grow and change with your needs.
Here are some things to consider.
How many bedrooms do you need?
How many bathrooms do you need?
Do you need space for a home office?
What kind of parking facilities do you need? For how many cars?
Do you want air conditioning? If so, what type?
Do you want storage or hobby space?
Is a fireplace or a swimming pool high on your list?
Do you have family members with special needs?
Do you want special features to save energy, enhance indoor air quality, and reduce environmental impact?
Lifestyles and stages
No matter what type of housing you choose, you must have a clear idea of your needs today, as well as your possible future needs. These are some examples of questions home buyers might ask:
Do I plan to have children?
Do I have teenagers who will be moving away soon?
Am I close to retirement?
Will I need a home that can accommodate different stages of life?
Do I have an older relative who might come to live with me?