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Before you go shopping, measure your space and bring a diagram of the room with you. From the exact dimensions of the room, determine the rug size by subtracting two to three feet of floor to show on each side.
After you've seen many rugs, your favorite types will become apparent. Don't buy a rug until you find one you love. Then examine it carefully. The lighting and character of your room will affect the look of the rug.
Reputable dealers will allow you to take the rug home for a day or two. Make sure you like the result in daylight as well as at night before you make a final decision. For antique rug lovers and investors, a substantial number of the oriental rugs currently in this country are antiques (over 70 years old). As time passes, they become more rare and valuable due to the graceful aging process and the fact that antiques were almost always one-of-a-type. Therefore, antiques can be considered "investments".
But before you buy, know what you're getting. Check for signs of repairs such as patches, usually more visible on the back of the rug. Repairs that have been expertly done are barely visible and do not affect the value nearly as much as those which are obviously a "defect". Missing borders and any other needed restoration should be reflected in the price.