1. Do not consider projects that are just starting out or started long back but yet to see the roof. You do not want to lock your hard earned money in these type of projects where there is no guarantee that you will get apartment completed and handed over.
2. Understand that when you give the money to the builder, the money can get routed to another project that is in doldrums.
3. Look for properties that are completed or close to completion and are in the process of handover.
4. Be aware the builders quote is going to be high (as always) buy decide what price you are comfortable paying for the property.
5. Completed property is definitely worth little more than a project which is promised to complete in a year or two from now. But some premium is worth it (take it as an insurance).
6. Go to the builder with your rate and do not hesitate to walk out if he is not agreeable. If you are convinced that what you are offering is a reasonable price, make it clear this is what you will pay and leave your contact number with the salesperson so that he can call you if your rate is approved by his manager.
7. You can always approach with a slightly higher offer later on if you feel it is worth (or at another property nearby).
8. Builders also try to squeeze you in many forms like parking space, collecting 2 or 3 years maintenance charges upfront etc. Please be careful and refuse the offer if you are not comfortable.
9. If you do your homework and stick with it, you can find a good property at a reasonable price.Just remember that there are many options are available and if one doesn't work out that's fine.
10. I know too many people who gave lot of money to the builder (in India) few years ago (2007, 2008 etc) and are still to get a roof on their head. You do not want to be in the same situation few years from now, say 2016.
Finally Best of Luck.