Prioritizing Wants Vs. Needs
This can be a difficult task when you first start your house hunting, but none the less it is an extremely important one.  Sit down with your partner and determine what your absolute minimum requirements are in one list, and then on a separate list determine what would be nice to have.  Keep in mind your budget and what is realistic.  Chances are the you will have to give and take a little before finding the home that is right for you.  Having a list can help you focus your efforts on the right properties for you and your family.  Here is an example of some things you may want to consider.

Feature Want Need
# of Bedrooms 4 3
# of Bathrooms 3 2
Size (Square Feet) 2,400 sq.ft. 1,800 sq.ft.
Lot Size (acres) 0.5 acres 0.15 acres
Garage 3 2
Game Room Yes No
Formal Dining Room Yes No
Formal Living Room No No
# Stories Single Story 1 or 2 Story
Floor Coverings Wood, Tile Any
Counter Tops Granite Any
Appliances Stainless Any
1st Floor Master Yes Yes
Seperate Guest Quarters Yes No
Pool Yes No
Year Built After 1995 Any
Fenced Yard Yes Yes
Corner Lot Yes Any
School District Eanes Any