First, welcome to OSO.
There is a lot that goes into finding the right boat. If you plan on borrowing money, I would recommend getting pre-approved. Dealers and sellers are more willing to talk if they know you are approved for funding.
Where are you located? I was in your position about a month ago. I was looking at 29' Baja Outlaws and ended up with a Formula Fastech 292. Some of my opinions...Keep an open mind when looking at boats. Dont have your heart set on a particular brand or model especially if this is your first. Some things you should know about though inlcude: twin or single engine, trailer or no trailer, size, etc. You should sea trail and look at as many boats as possible. One brand or model might surpise you.
With regard to a surveyor. They are your best protection. Make sure you hire a certified, respected surveyor. Again they are your protection for purchasing a boat. Note: No bank will lend you money without a survey so it is required.
Good luck on your search. Let me know if you have any other questions. Again welcome to OSO