Coming up with a wish list is much easier than you may think mainly because the market dictates your housing options with few exceptions. For the most part, buyers get to choose price and location and the amount of work needed to repair / update the house. This means, you get to decide how much you would like to spend and then determine if you like the options that go with that price. It’s pretty simple, you are going to pay a premium for having a home that is updated and move-in ready. In contrast, homes are going to be less expensive that require updates and need maintenance due to the cost and headaches that go with that process. You can pay more and get a better home, or pay less and get less.
The best advice is to keep an open mind and keep your wish list short, so you have more options to choose from. First time buyers, like everyone else, are trying to get the best value, not the cheapest house. Sometime spending a little extra will get you a nice return, and sometime paying less doesn’t requite you to give up much in return. Be sure you know the difference so you can make an informed decision.