When you are ready to step out and take the next step in purchasing a home, don't just create lists of homes you are interested in from the internet and hop in the car to go house hunting. The best way to make the most informed decision is to have plenty of "back ground checks" if you will, on the properties you are interested in. Meeting with your Realtor first, before tackling the list of homes to see can save you a lot of time and heartache of falling in love with a property that may have already gone under contract. Some important things to know before heading out are: what kind of financing options are available, how long has the house been on the market, is the property priced according to the surrounding comps- if not- why?, has the property fallen out of contract before, what potential issues are being disclosed by the seller? A lot to think about I know, but the more you know- the better you will be with purchasing possibly the biggest investment of your life.