1 - Trust your gut. Sometimes you'll look around a house that's really nice, in a good location and is an affordable price, but for some reason you just don't want it. If you don't get excited while you're looking around it, it's probably not for you.
2 - Try and see potential. This is something I struggled with when we first started looking and actually we may have found somewhere sooner if I'd managed to see past some of the cosmetic issues! We've actually ended up with a house that needs a lot of cosmetic work, but when I imagine what it'll look like when we've put our own stamp on it I get so excited!
3 - Do your sums. Work out realistically what you can afford. Before you start looking it's really helpful to go for a mortgage meeting with a bank to see how much they would lend you and also how much your monthly payments would be - then whenever you look around a house you can add on council tax depending on the band it's in and bills depending on it's efficiency rating. It's a pain, but worth it in the long run.
4 - Stay positive. Buying a house is really exciting once you've found the one for you, but when you're looking it can be really stressful if you don't immediately find what you're looking for. Instead of feeling disheartened at looking around so many houses you don't want, turn it into a positive - at least it helps you narrow down what you do want!
5 - Speak to other people who've done it. Especially if they've bought recently. They will already have shopped around for the best mortgage provider, best solicitor and best surveyor. All the solicitors we found were quoting around the same price and then I asked a friend who had recently bought who she used. They quoted £300 cheaper - win!
6 - Lists are your best friend. There is a lot to think about when you buy a house - as well as all the general things you have to think about when moving usually (moving your internet, your bills and changing your postal address on everything) you also need to think about everything you might need from the previous owners like gas safety certificates, boiler guarantees and a lot of boring stuff! Make lists for everything!
7 - Get excited. It may be a very stressful time in your life, but it's also bloody exciting! Pinterest away to your heart's content, plan what you're going to do with each room and prepare to be excited about things you've never been excited about before like tiles and dado rails (yes I am excited about dado rails).
I hope this post was a little bit helpful if you're thinking of buying now or in the future - and good luck if you are! Let me know your experiences in the comments.