Buying a home is probably one of the most exciting life events there is. It can also be stressful. But, if you start your adventure armed with some good advice, chances are, those stressful moments will be few and far between.

These five helpful tips may make your home-buying experience one of the most cherished memories you have. After all, your home is where many of the best memories will be made. These tips might help you find your new home:

Get nosy in the neighbourhood. You’ll want to scope out the area in which your prospective home is located. Talk to some neighbours and get a handle on what they like about living in the area. We Canadians are a friendly bunch, and it’s highly likely that these folks will be more than happy to offer up some information. Check the area for schools, grocery stores, parks and other places that you feel are important in a well-rounded neighbourhood.

Don’t date it. Buy it. Yes, it’s hard to keep emotions out of the home-buying equation, but you really need to try. Falling in love at first sight with a home may cloud your financial judgement. Trust your instincts, not your emotions. You can always change the paint colour of a home after you’ve bought it. Buying a home should be a wise investment that’s made with more logic than emotion.

Be aware of all the costs. Owning a home means more than just paying the mortgage. When you’re house hunting, you should ask questions about the utility bills, taxes, cost of upkeep and other things that’ll impact your bank account.  Always make sure you have enough stowed away for unforeseen events.

Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Contrary to popular belief, you may do well buying a home that needs some work. Its value may appreciate more than the biggest, most beautiful house on the block. That huge house with an expensive price tag may only appeal to a certain segment of the population upon resale, and you don’t want to limit the number of people who may want to buy your home if you ever decide to sell.

Let go of the “best time” idea. Real estate is a cyclical business, and if you try to wait for a right time, you may miss out on your dream home.