You should look at a lot of homes and start asking questions about how old is this , that, pest report, look at the general condition of homes, and evaluate each home and its price, like on an excel spread sheet. You will eventually find that you can pinpoint which top 3 homes provide you the most value. Once you have narrowed it down to the house you like, ACT FAST, aggressively, then order a home inspection report, this will tell you everything wrong about the property, and a pest report if the house does not have one already. If there is significant work to be done, get estimates from contractors , then you should try to negotiate the price down, or have the seller get the work done, preferably you do the work, so there is no problem of quality of work done. Information is power, go compare houses!