So you're buying your first home, and it's exciting, and maybe even a little overwhelming. There is one thing I think all new home-buyers should spend a little time on to save some money. Heck, even repeat buyers should spent a little more time on this.
Take the time to shop around for homeowner's insurance. This is not really an area where you can get super quick answers from the agents. Spend the time answering their questions as best as you can, and take notes about limits, coverage and deductibles. Give them a day or two to get back to you if they ask for it. While most insurance companies try to maintain competitive rates, I have had my buyers tell me about huge differences in rates and coverage. Don't forget to consider whether or not you need flood insurance.
The worst case scenario is when a buyer can afford the house, but the soon to-be escrowed homeowner's insurance pushes their monthly payment above their limit. That's when you really need to start calling around. Be frank with the agents, and explain your situation. Most of the time you will be pleasantly surprised by their willingness to try to work something out for you.
The last part of this tip is actually the one part I find most people do remember: check with your current insurance company about multi-policy discounts. Even if their stand alone quote is a little more than someone else's, the additional discount could make it cheaper overall.