Taking the plunge and getting into home ownership for the first time can be a rollercoaster ride for the first-time homebuyer – thrilling and nerve-wracking all at one time. Knowing just what to expect can be difficult and the learning curve can be steep.

By doing a little research, the first time home buyer can head off a number of issues.

And if your search is in the Hamptons, some of the most sought after land in the entire world, the stakes are even higher.

For potential first-time buyers a potential hurdle can be the home inspection. For many buyers, a good inspector can be an excellent resource for helping to protect significant real estate investments.  However, most inspectors are not licensed plumbers or electricians and may not detect some potential problems.

As a buyer, you can ask to see an inspector’s credentials and a sample home inspection report to look for disclaimers.  You also want a home inspection that goes beyond the bare minimum of fulfilling bank requirements or serving as a negotiating tool. A home is a great investment and you shouldn’t overlook their credentials.

It doesn’t matter where you are buying, there always will be regulations. You want to educate yourself on zoning in your area. Also, be 100 percent sure you are aware of the status of all permits affecting a property you are considering. This can include having the correct certificates in place for occupancy. You also should never make an assumption that if a property has a certificate of occupancy, other permits have been closed out.

And for homeowners considering building or renovating a home in the Hamptons, a myriad of codes could impact the property. In many cases, it is important to note that a code in one town may be different in the next town. Something that may be permissible in East Hampton may not pass muster in Sag Harbor. Sometimes, there are variations to a code in the same town. This makes expert advice a must.

If you are purchasing a property for investment and plan on renting it, there are a number of requirements to be aware of. These also vary from place to place. In order to get a permit for a rental, the property must meet all codes. As a result, an inspection may be required.

Lastly, the Hamptons market can be fickle. You want to correctly assess the market and this means making sure the comparisons you select for pricing are accurate. Avoid using “for sale” prices as a comparison. Instead, limit your research to transactions for homes that have passed from seller to buyer. This will provide a much clearer indication of real market value. Your searches also should eliminate any sales that are between relatives. Also factor in property condition.

As a first-time home buyer in the Hamptons or anywhere, do your homework and be make yourself an informed and educated buyer.