Weather you are buying your own hom or an investment property, it is important you identify exactly what it is that you are wanting in a home before you start looking locations, number of bedrooms/living areas. Weather you have the time and ability to handle major renovations or weather you'd like something new and fresh. In the case or rental investment properties, the newer and sounder the property, the better - or you will will constantly be having calls from tentants requesting repairs. This can be very time consuming and costly.
Make sure you already have your finance in order prior to look for your new home. So often people fall in love with a house, then lose it to someone else who is already in a position to buy - all because they still have to arrange finance. They find the house, spend money on engineers report, pest and building check and sometimes even architects - then wait for their finance to be approved. In the meantime someone who is already cashed up comes in and gets the home - this can be bitterly disappointing and demoralizing when looking for a home.
Do your homework - one of the biggest mistakes people make is not doing much research. They actually don't understand what other properties have sold for in the area. This can cost them dearly if they fall in love with the property and do not negotiate the best deal for themselves.
So if you are looking for a home, know what it is that you want, enlist the services of an agent - they will be able to guide you as to comparative market sales. Sometimes they may even know of properties that have not yet come on the market and are able to show you before you have to compete with other buyers.