Buying a home is likely the biggest purchase you will ever make. There’s so much you invest in it, and we’re not strictly talking about the money down; we mean the whole home-buying process and everything that goes into it. You have to decide what neighbourhood you want to live in. Do you want to live in a condo or a house? Will your new home have enough space if you decide to have kids? And if you do have kids, or plan on having them, how close do you want to be to the local schools? Also, what colour are you going to paint your front door?

The whole home-buying process is a huge undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be an intimidating one. Here are a few tips that can make your home-buying experience a pleasant one:

Find a good real estate agent

You and your spouse (if you have one) should find a real estate agent that you can trust and gel with. Talk to your friends who have purchased homes recently. Ask them who their real estate agent was and how the experience went. It’s so important that you’re able to convey to your agent what you’re looking for and that they understand it clearly.

What sort of home are you looking for?

When you buy a home, you’re creating a space for you and your family to live and grow. It’s a place for birthdays, holidays, first steps and words, family dinners, memories galore, and so much more. Ask yourself, what sort of home do you want to live in? Do you want to live in a condo, a bungalow, a semi, or a detached home? Your price range might determine this, but it doesn’t have to. Think about where you’d be most happy, and whether you see your new home as a home for life or just a starter home.

Location, location, location

The community where you live is where you spend most of your time, so you want to make sure you pick the right home in the right neighbourhood. During your search, have a couple of neighbourhoods in mind where you’d like to live. Consider ranking them and note what you enjoy about each. Are there great schools close by? Lots of green spaces? Are there delicious restaurants just around the corner? Remember, you’re not just buying a home, you’re buying into a community.

If you’re moving to a new town or city (always more challenging), make sure you do a lot of research — and not just online. Go out and spend a day exploring the area. See if you could see yourself living there. Tip: Be open to up-and-coming areas; you might be able to get a great deal, and you can watch and be a part of the community development.

Stay within your budget

Set a max price, and don’t go over it. You don’t want to buy more house than you can afford. If you do end up stretching yourself, you could be opening the door to a lot of unwanted stress. You’ll eventually be able to find the home that’s perfect for you in your price range. Be in the know: The average price of a home in Canada is $491,000.1

As you prepare to purchase your new home, it’s also important that you’re prepared with the right insurance coverage. With CAA Term Life Insurance, you can help protect the ones you love under your roof.

For more information about this important coverage or to get a quote for CAA Term Life Insurance.

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1 “Here’s the income you need to pass the mortgage stress test across Canada.” April 2018.

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