With used boats, what they were brand new is not what they will be when you come along. You won't be looking for a specific boat you'll be looking at the boats for sale
in a reasonable area you can travel to that are for sale
on some specific day. You might want to spend some time looking at ads. Pretty easy to do and sort of fun. Yachtworld.Com lets you enter the criteria in basic terms and lets you look at ads that are really out there. I would look at cheap
boats and expensive boats and boats you figure you wouldn't like and ones you think you do like. It's not a bad way to spend some time looking at many different boats. Just to see what they are like and what your money
might buy. You wouldn't really be shopping
yet and as you say you are still just getting started so a specific boat X for some price
isn't going to send you off with your checkbook in the morning. The boat you may choose today wouldn't be at all what you would choose 3 years from today. Also read about the various issues we discuss here in the many threads. They all matter to some extent and covers the things you don't see or don't understand yet.
Used boats come in all conditions. Looks and brand name alone are not the whole story most of the time. For a boat that is used and can last for another 10 years they need refitting of something even if well cared for. After you make it to another 10 years you will have refitted things more than once for some items. Nothing will go that long with zero issues.
Some other things you need to consider:
Comfortable to live on for 2 people only, any additional berths will be converted to office or larger kitchen. At least 32 feet
This isn't going to work. You won't be affording a "larger kitchen". Living aboard
you will have a small galley
that has the minimal space required to prepare food
and the aft berth won't be an office but storage
. You need to get familiar with how big a 32 ft boat is and how big a 40 ft boat is. The 50 ft boat could have a big kitchen and an office. Actually a 37 ft Trawler
that can't cross the ocean could have all that and be in budget
. Little requirements make a big influence. So how big is this kitchen and what is this office? How much stuff do you have?
If you live near where any of the big boat shows are like Miami
then plan a trip and just go there and get on all the boats you can and really see what they are. Sure they are all new but you are just looking. Lots of interesting people to talk to as part of it. Make it a vacation
. It's not that you'll find the boat you'll buy (you can't afford a new boat) but you'll see what boats are and you will understand better what you want so you can deal with what you can afford. You need to go through those steps so you know you are doing the right thing for all the right reasons.