First, if you aren't already working with a Buyer Agent, please consider doing so. I'm not exactly familiar with Dallastown, but I'm certain there are a number of good agents available. That said, here are some thoughts to consider:
- Carefully review the seller disclosure. This is a legal document that the seller completes which describes any problems that are or were present in the home/property. If there are items of concern (ie. the basement flooded) have your agent learn more about what was done to rectify the situation.
- Secure at least 1 year of utility bills, including heat, electric, etc....you need to understand the true cost of ownership
- If schools are important, do some homework. Your agent should be able to direct you to resources which will provide detailed data on any given school district. If you're not certain which particular school your children may be going to, call the district and ask....they will at least be able to provide information about what school is presently associated with the home (though this could change....ask your agent).
- Get detailed information about "comparable" properties that have sold in recent months. This will impact your offer, and an understanding of value is critical
These are just some primary points to consider. Typically, there is no charge to enlist the service of a Buyer Agent. You gain the advantage of exclusive representation, which can often save you considerable time and money. Though certainly not required, it is my best suggestion. Good luck, and have fun!