The old adage in real estate is that location is the only thing that matters. I would add the size of the property, too, as that is very difficult to change. But while you can change a house, some repairs may beyond your budget. Before buying your first home, it's best to listen and heed the horror stories of people who've been there, done that. A reddit thread is full of them. Some highlights:
12. If you're hunting in a college town, get a map, draw a line from the popular bars to the dorms, and then DO NOT BUY A HOUSE ON THAT LINE.
"You would be shocked by the amount of vandalism and noise in that area." —sewnlurk
13. Beware of staged properties.
"Staging can hide flaws like a rug put over a damaged floor. Picture the place empty and check everything twice." —scangemode
If you're on a budget, every house will have some flaws, but you should be able to identify them and figure out which ones you can live with. Buzzfeed compiled a list of the best tips, and you are welcome to add others here to help a first-time home buyer.
(Image credit: A McCarron)