On the subject of buying houses, it is essential to know exactly what you are looking for. It is advisable to look at lots of houses, compare them and weigh the pros and cons. Looking at houses online (and perhaps soon buying) is a wonderful tool to know better what your preferences are. You make sure you know how much mortgage you can get. Yes really that is the first step. Go to the bank or other mortgage lender to find out what is responsible to borrow in your situation. You take out a mortgage for a long time and the interest and repayments will be a significant part of your fixed expenses. You can only live comfortably if you have a good financial plan and overview that shows you can afford the mortgage. Know what you can borrow to search for a house by price.
Buying houses, especially the older properties, is better not done on trust. The risk is too great. Have an expert look over your property with you before you decide. A structural engineer, an appraiser, an industry acquaintance, it doesn't matter if they know their stuff. Someone who discovers cracks, notices an old leak, looks to see if the roof is still in great shape, in short, someone who can point out to you the shortcomings of a house. Someone to tell you if the price is right for what you want to buy. What big costs are you facing within now and a few years: a new boiler, new roofs for house and garage, is there a basement and is there water in it? Very important to know in advance. Are the problems not a problem for you and you still want to buy the house with defects? Try to get some off the price for costs you will have to incur in the future. If you are in love with a certain property you will be happy to spend some money to have repairs done.