My personal 8 tips:
1). Save. Save. Save.
2). Check credit scores
3). Meet with a lender [before house hunting....get pre-approved]
4). Decide on a comfortable housing budget
5). Find a Reputable Realtor
6). Decide on priorities
7). Choose the neighborhood(s)
8). Make an offer
Then wait it out and hope all your hopes, dreams, and visions don't get shattered. Ha!
During this experience we have fallen in love and become attached to some of these homes. So If I can offer any advise, I'd say....try not to get attached....as tough as it may be....If you do, you'll feel like your life is in shambles when you get the....."you didn't get it" call from the realtors.
While I don't know how the home buying market is in other parts of the world. I know in CA it's rather discouraging. Homes right now are getting multiple offers, going for thousands over list price, getting swept up by investors and/or cash buyers. I've bought 2 homes prior to this one and both experiences were so much different than in today's Market. But I can say while it may be discouraging....in the end when all is said and done, you've signed on the dotted line, you'll feel accomplished. Owning your own home is worth the wait.