Once you've got those preparations out of the way, it's time to find the home of your dreams.
Take a Drive... Get to know the neighborhoods you are interested in. Drive around and get a feel for what it would be like to live in the area. Start getting a sense of the homes available in those neighborhoods.
Narrow your search... Select a few homes that interest you the most and have your real estate agent make appointments to visit them. Ask your real estate agent about the potential long term re-sale value of the homes you are considering.
Time to Buy... Once you've picked out the house you want to buy, your real estate agent can help you make an offer that the seller will accept. A good agent will investigate the potential costs of maintenance and repairs on the house.