1. Know what you can afford before you start looking
Finding the perfect home would be a snap if money weren't an issue, but let's get real. For most people, money doesn't grow on azaleas, which means their finances must be taken into account. So don’t waste your time shopping for real estate before you know what price range you can afford; that's like shopping on Rodeo Drive on minimum wage.
One easy way to get your bearings is to type your income, savings, and other details into a home affordability calculator. Better yet, get a mortgage pre-approval letter; the process involves a lender checking out your finances and determining how much it's willing to loan you for a home.
2. You don't have to see every house in a 100-mile radius
There is no need to look at every house in the neighborhood or view all the 3BR/2BA in your price range. If you outlines your wants and needs prior to beginning your search, your agent will be able to screen properties so you only look at ones that fit your needs. So if the first home you see is the one, that's OK, your agent did her job.
3. Don't let the commitment give you cold feet
Sure, buying a house is a big commitment. Yes, it's scary, and your mind might race with all sorts of worse-case scenarios. What if you make an offer on a house, and that very day another house—even more perfect for you—crosses your path? Or, what if you move into a house you're happy with, then a layoff leaves you unable to pay your mortgage? Sure, these are all possibilities, albeit slim. But don't let them get in the way of making this important move. Remember, you can always sell a house later on; this need not be a death-do-you-part endeavor.