Research your desired location and get info on the school district, taxes, HOA, etc. All these will affect resale when the time comes as all.
Identify the best home for you and/or your family. In other words, don’t try to predict what the market will do in the future. If your professional thinks he/she can predict your ROI 10 years from now, buyer be warned.
Choose a floor plan over outside appearance. You’ll be spending more time in than out.
Evaluate how the home will serve you and your family. Find features to match your needs.
Always do an inspection, further, be sure to hire an independent professional. I know Uncle Ned is handy, but invest the funds to get an independent, unbiased opinion in the property condition.
Negotiate terms and consult with your real estate professional on when it’s the best time to negotiate. At some point, it may be more beneficial to do your own repairs, than lose a property over emotional negotiations.
Don’t feel you need to “wait for a better time”. At this point (2014) historically low rates make it a great time to invest in real estate.
Find a place to call home, take advantage of tax breaks, and build your wealth.