4. Go on house tours
This is one of the most important steps and we strongly recommend first-time homebuyers not to skip this step. Websites like Zillow, Redfin, and realtor.com are a great way to search for homes online and do your homework. Hopefully, your real estate agent is also doing that but remember they probably have more than one client. Once you find a home that you like, reach out to your buyer’s agent to schedule a private tour (or go to an open house) so you see the house in person.
You will soon realize that online photos can be misleading and use wide angle cameras to make the house appear bigger and brighter than it is in real life. On the flipside, some houses look better in-person so don't pass on the opportunity to on tours.
Do not forget to observe the surrounding, neighborhood, noise levels, trees that may directly affect your property, any encroachment by the neighbors and so on.
Do not be distracted by cosmetic improvements or damage, worry about structural issues (such as roof, basement, windows, electrical, and gas lines)