Buying your first home can be exciting, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. These five tips will help build your knowledge and confidence.

1. Do The Groundwork

Before you start looking at houses, make sure you cover a few basics.

  • Take a hard look at your finances and determine what you can afford. Set a budget that you can manage without overextending yourself and stick to it. You might have to pass on a wonderful house, but you’ll lead a better life.
  • Learn about the government grants and incentives that can help with your first home purchase.
  • Get pre-approved for a home loan.

2. Develop a Routine

Buying a house is work. It takes time and persistence. Establish a routine that enables you to get it done. You might want to set aside time in the evenings after work for your online research online and save the weekends for looking at houses. The schedule is up to you. Just make sure you have one.

3. Get Savvy

Learn as much as you can about the buying process, and make sure you understand the terminology. If you’re unclear on a term or a practice, search online until you understand it completely. This small investment of time will help you avoid big mistakes.

4. Hire an Inspector

When you find a home you like, don’t let your heart overwhelm your head. Hire a qualified inspector and have the home inspected, inside and out. You’ll spot any potential problems (e.g. pest infestations, structural problems, electrical issues) that could impact the price of the house.

5. Work with a Mortgage Consultant

When buying your first home, it’s easy to make mistakes. Consider working with a qualified mortgage consultant to help with the process and the paperwork. A good consultant will save you time, money and—quite possibly—a great deal of heartache.