That means determining how much money you can raise for your down payment and how much you can afford to pay on a monthly basis. Go to a lender to find out the size of mortgage you qualify for and get pre-approved. Better yet, use a mortgage broker to find you the best mortgage rate possible. When calculating the costs of home ownership, remember to plan for homeowner's insurance, property taxes, private mortgage insurance (if required), utilities, repairs, and maintenance.
Normally, most of a property's value is not in the house, it's in the land. You would do well to heed the old adage of buying the worst house on the best street, not the best house on the worst street. If you buy a house that is overdeveloped compared to neighboring houses, you may think you're getting a great deal when you buy it, but you will probably have a hard time getting back what you paid for it when it's time to sell.
While you don't have to keep your house 100% clean all the time, you should make any necessary repairs and perform all major cleanup work BEFORE you start showing your home. There are hundreds of small things you can do to make your house more attractive for a showing, ranging from drawing all the blinds and tightening loose doorknobs to displaying fresh-cut flowers and baking a loaf of bread. Most importantly, you should not be present during showings so that prospective buyers can explore your home freely. Ask your Realtor to provide a checklist of things you can do to make your home more attractive to buyers.