If you are going to purchase a home, the first thing you need to do is get pre-qualified for a loan - unless you are a cash buyer. Shop around for a mortgage representative; it is a very competitive market right now. The representative will let you know how much money you can borrow to buy a house. They should also give you a good faith estimate - the total estimated cost of actually purchasing the house - this will include estimated closing costs and fees associated with purchasing the home through the lender that you choose.
I would get a couple of quotes from a couple of different sources to find out the best deal you can get. The lowest interest rate may not win. Once you have the amount of money that you can spend, then it is time to go shopping. There are rules with mortgages about when you must occupy the residence in order to get the loan.
Next, I would find a qualified home inspector. Shop around and find one that you can trust. One who will help you determine property condition. This will help you determine whether it would be worth the investment. Though you are buying the house to fix up and live in, always think about how quickly you could sell it if you had to.
There are many factors to consider. Check out neighborhood crime statistics, taxes, and actual property location.