Once you know exactly where you stand financially, come back and you will get lots of advice as to a good boat that will fit your needs and budget.
There are others here on sailnet looking to do the same thing you are. Read their posts to see what steps they are following to fullfill their dream.
I've exchanged a number of emails with veprjack who is looking for a boat about in the same size and price range as you. Check out some of his postings. He may have already covered some ground that you haven't thought of.