It might be second nature to homeowners but first time home buyers need to be prepared for how their life changes once they become a homeowner. Things that their landlord (or parents) took care of, will now become their responsibility.
First of all, there is a huge financial change. Before looking for a home, they should meet with a mortgage rep to talk about monthly payments. This should include taxes, home owners insurance and any financial item that will impact their payment, i.e., amount of down payment.
Then they need to think about those things that may have been included in their rent, i.e., trash pick up, cable service, maintenance and repairs. Maintaining your property is important as it will have an effect on your property's value when you go to sell. When looking for a home, look at the properties throughout the neighborhood and see if their is pride of ownership.
Remember, before you start, think hard about what's important, i.e., location, school district, distancte from employment, recreation, entertainment and shopping. If you plan on being in your home for a long time, these are critical. Are you a relocation candidate? if so, all of these should be concerns.
Discuss this with your agent and be sure they understand your concerns, likes, wants and dislikes. This will make the process go more smoothly.