So, you have decided to buy a home - this is excellent news! Now you need to figure out what to do next. If you decide to just wing it, you may soon come to the realization finding the home of your dreams can turn into a complete nightmare. However, with adequate planning armed with a property checklist and a plethora of questions, buying a home can be quite fun and a less stressful adventure.

Experts claim the trick is to know what you're looking for before you begin. The idea of taking pen to paper and writing out a list of both wants and needs is crucial as it can save you on wasted time through the process; especially when you spend the majority of your time dragging yourself across town viewing properties. Here are some home buyers' advice to finding a new home:

Location: Where do you want to live? What do you want to see when you look out your windows? Do you want to be in the city or maybe more of a country scene? How far away do you want to be from the nearest amenities, shops, restaurants, etc.

Condition of the Home: Are you looking for a home that's more move-in ready or perhaps a fixer-upper? It may be cheaper going with a fixer upper in the long run, but are you willing or able to have the resources to update your home over time? You may prefer a home already updated and you can just move right in and get cozy. 

Style of Your Home: Home styles are completely a preference to what you desire. There are quite a few options such as split-level, A-frame, Victorian, Stucco, etc. 

Bedrooms/Bathrooms: How many rooms are you going to need for both your family and to accommodate others when they come visit? What about an office?  Do you want everyone to share the same bathroom or have a couple for ease of access?

Square Footage: How big a space in the home is dependent upon what you think your family will need not only right now but also for years to come. An idea to consider... will you need to grow or maybe to downsize instead.

Front and Backyards: Do you want a big backyard? Maybe you want to garden or put in a small playground for the kids. Do you want it fenced? Maybe add a pool or guest house? What about the front yard? Parking? Landscaping? All things to consider when home buying.

Adding a bunch of homes to your list that yo may have an interest is a good start. Then you can start eliminating each property you come across that don't meet the criteria you created for yourself and your family. Once you have narrowed down you list then the fun of going to each home and checking them out begins. But bring something with you to take notes. Once in the homes, you'll start to see things you either do want or don't. This will also help narrow down your search further when you look over your property checklist. 

Plan on visiting a property you like at least two times. You want to have that same feeling the second time you walk through the home to know if it may be right for you. If you think you do like a certain home do some further research. You can drive around the neighborhood and get a good feel for it. You may want to stop next door and meet the neighbors. Take a drive from the home to your work or nearest amenities in the area. You may even consider visiting the property at different times of the day to see what the traffic patterns are like.

Other things to consider before buying is to ask your agent to ask the seller's agent why the seller is selling. Do your homework when it comes to utilities, schools and neighborhood security. It is also okay to have concerns about a property and whether it can be alleviated. Never be afraid to ask questions. The more you know the more you'll be prepared going forward.