Most people I have noticed have a maximum budget but generally the expectation for that money is quite high.
My general advice:
Spend at least 3 months or so looking at properties online, researching about different areas, and most importantly visit open homes.
I am a firm believer in being close to the centre of Auckland City, it’s a personal preference and so I advise anyone interested in buying to look as close to Central City as the budget allows. Nothing worse than working in the CBD, driving to work and living in 45-50km away. Think how much quality time would you get with your family?
Don’t let your emotions get the best of you, control them. Treat the first home as a stepping stone and or transaction. This is very difficult but when you are young you don’t want to make a mistake with your first home where you emotionally pay too much.
Always looks for what can add value, today I advised a friend of adding a toilet/bathroom, creating a room by shifting a couple of walls.
The path I went down was I bought several rental properties and continued to rent before I purchased my own home. Our home was a leaky and was bought with the intent of recladding.