There are several things to consider including: Do you currently rent and want to pay your own mortgage, not your landlord's? Have you outgrown your current home? Would you like a larger yard? Would you rather live in a different area? Do you want to shorten your commute? Do you want to simplify and downsize? Or, are you looking to diversify your investment portfolio? Are you looking for a rental property? Having a clear sense of your reasons for buying will help you choose the right type of property.
Consulting with a financial manager and/or your CPA may also help guide you in this decision making process.
Before you start shopping for your property, it is a good idea to make some preparations.