If you only remember one thing from this post, remember this:
No Deal is Better than a Bad Deal!Not making a deal on a home is far superior than making a bad deal on an inferior property. Pull yourself up by your boot straps and get out of the dangerous mindset that you will take anything at any cost. You are not nearly as desperate as that! The wrong house will cost you time and money, a trip to the psych ward, maybe some depression and possibly even relationships. Avoid buying a home just because you want to own a home. Don't settle and don't be blind to the reality of the condition of a home. If it's bad, walk away.
What Constitutes a Bad Deal?
NumbersDon't make the mistake of ignoring the figures. Make sure your cash flow is legit and don't take unnecessary risks. Stick to your budget!!!
PartnershipsIf you are looking for a first-time investment home, make sure your partner, if you have one, is strong. Bad partnerships make for bad deals no matter how great the property. Be especially careful when partnering with friends and family. Expectations can be tricky when working with those with whom you are most familiar.
Related: "5 Tips for New Investors"
"No!"Whether you hear it from a seller, your financial adviser a spouse or even a trusted friend, pay attention when someone says "no". Bad real estate deals are excruciatingly difficult to get out of and you need to know the "why" to someone's "no" because it might be the very word which halts you from ruining years of your life. Bad deals are costly and often result in bankruptcy. No deal is worth all of that.
Related: "House Hacking: 5 Reasons it's Tricky"