Most professionals recommend that you rent for awhile especially if you are moving to a new area. That will give you a chance to check out the area and make a more informed decision when you buy.
Some homes are available for rent, but apartments are more plentiful. Apartments usually have amenities that you may not be able to otherwise afford. Look at the location and talk to some residents to make sure they are happy with the accommodations and management. Find out about parking, decorating, utilities, length of contract, furnishings, deposit and etc…
When shopping for a house, there are several things to consider. You need to determine what you can afford. Generally, you can borrow about 25-35% of you gross income for a mortgage. You may also need cash for down payment and other fees. Don’t let this deter you, however, as there are options that require very little or no out of pocket expenses. Speak to a lender and they will guide you in this area.
Once you know what you can afford, you can start shopping. Pick up some home books and look on-line to get an idea of what is available. You may want to involve an agent. Talk to you parents and other homeowners to learn more about the process.