Buying your first home can be one of the most exciting – and the most intimidating – times in your life. But before you get too overwhelmed, there are many helpful tips that’ll help you get on the right track.

Firstly, it’s important to consider your budget and set your expectations accordingly. This can be accomplished while getting pre-approved for a mortgage, as the amount approved combined with programs and your own savings will dictate your purchase price. The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive has even had a recent expansion, increasing the qualifying income and total borrowing amount to make it even easier to finance your first home!

Don’t forget! Once you’ve got your overall budget settled, it’s important to remember closing costs, land transfer tax, and lawyer fees.

Now that you’ve got your finances settled, searching for your first home gets a lot more exciting. The age-old adage comes into play now – “location, location, location”. You can always renovate your home down the line, or even just paint the walls or redecorate. But you can’t change where your home is located. So do some research into your potential neighbourhoods, see where your ideal lifestyle and your budget overlap, and set your sights on that area.

And lastly, pay close attention to the layout of the homes you look at. What works for you? Do you live alone? Do you entertain? Different spaces function for different people, but there’s always something out there perfectly matched to your tastes.