In this instructable, I'm going to give you an overview in what is involved in keeping your first pet snake, with particular reference to corn snakes. I am most knowledgeable about corn snakes, how ever because they quite like King snakes, and their living requirements are not dissimilar either.
I'm going to cover considerations before buying a snake, what to look for when buying your snake, housing and husbandry, feeding, and suitability as pets, and anything else that I think of as I go along. I think I shall write a bit about their origins as well.
Step 1: Considerations
before you rush out and buy a snake you have to consider a few things,
can you actually get one that has been bred in captivity in the first place? I dunno, you'll have to do the leg work
do you have the space? they don't take up much room, but it is a consideration.
breeder or store? - both will be able to offer support so it is a personal choice
Do you have the money? trips to the vet will be expensive (esp with reptiles), food is really cheap as is upkeep, so it does offset the vet care aspect, its more expensive to set up than anything generally though.
will you be ok with feeding such an animal? If you are really squeamish a snake isn't going to be for you, while they are small and they eat small food you may well be able to cope, but corn's can eat quite big fully formed mice so you have to be comfortable with feeding them dead/thawed mice
where will you get food for the snake? generally if it is a store brought snake they will have food you can give it and generally it's really cheap I get 10 fuzzy mice for about ÃÂÃÂ£4 ($7.95/$8) and that lasts squirm about 5 weeks currently. If you get the snake from a breeder they should be able to point you in the right direction.
can you get to a reptilian vet? Your regular vet is no good, most regular vets do not have much experience with reptiles, whilst most will just admit it, some won't want to admit they are out of their depth with such an animal and "have a go." It is therefore important you know you can get to a Reptilian Specialist, although they are generally more expensive!
do you have the time? to be honest snakes won't take up much time, but it is important you can feed it regularly change water on a daily or every other day basis.
they live for a long time 15 years on average and 20 isn't uncommon for a well looked after snake. are you going to be willing to look after it for that long?
I'm not trying to put you off with this list but they are all things that you must consider and be prepared to have to deal with if/when you need to, and finding out when you need to is not the way to go!