Since you’re in the Houston area, you should consider calling Great Southern Music located at 290 & Barker Cypress. Besides all kinds of fun new toys, I think they have some pre-owned guitars. The owner, Kevin Perry, is a really nice guy with years of experience. He might have some options for you and can possibly help you sort it out. It’s also nice because you can play them there to see what you like.
I would go to a good music store and try it out first. I bought new. After looking at used guitars online I didn’t see any real bargins since sellers can price compare online and price accordingly. that was the impression i got from shopping my local area.
Get a guitar that you love and that plays well. This way you want to play it and stick with it. If you go to a good store then maybe you can get them to put new strings and set it up for you. A guitar that is poorly set up can kill your progress.
My experience has been the opposite of that. I’ve bought a number of guitars second hand (some of them online) and invariably got them for about half of what I’d have to pay new. The challenge, especially for a beginner, is knowing what to look for in regards to faults in a second hand guitar. Probably a bigger issue with acoustic.
If you are a beginner and can find a friend who knows what to look for, that’s the way to go in my opinion. I’ve still bought new guitars at times, mainly when it’s a more rare model that I’m unlikely to find easily second hand.
When I’ve bought online, it’s only been on the condition that I can play it before the final decision. I’ve bought a couple guitars this way from ebay.
When I bought my guitar, I didn’t know how to strum a chord. So buying second hand would be out of the question for me unless I had someone who knows about guitars and I trusted him.
Same with buying online. I had eyed a guitar with a floyd rose initially. Me being kind of a personality though, I went to the store, still knowing nothing about playing and asked the guys there to play it for me.
But they also advised me to steer clear from a floating bridge if I don’t know how to play the guitar.
That’s the (good) advise a noob like me needed.
So I took a few more days, researched the matter… And I revised my opinion and options. So I ended up buying a better in my opinion guitar (neckthrough, Dimarzio pickups, lightweight, minimal headstock dive) compared to the one I initially wanted.
So go to a store and ask the people there to play some guitars for you. And you’re not obliged to buy something…
And my advice would be the same, avoid a floating bridge for a start.
Might I add, try them on yourself too, see if you feel comfortable with them. See how it feels if you strum any random chord…