Purchasing a home is a highly personal and emotional decision, but also a major financial commitment. In Canada, the real estate market is ever-changing, and regulation and mortgage rate changes are plentiful. Many factors are at play, and affordability is often a key concern. It can be a lot to keep up with and difficult to feel truly knowledgeable and confident about  entering the market, whether it’s your first or fifth time as a buyer. To help you navigate through the process, here’s a breakdown of the major milestones: Dream: When you’re not quite at the stage to put the pedal to the metal and start hunting for your next home, this is the stage where your options are limitless and information gathering is essential. Create a budget and savings plan – take some time to understand what you need to buy your first or next home. Shop: You’ve made the decision that it’s time to move; mortgage and home shopping are imminent. Consider researching the different types of homes and neighbourhoods you’re interested in as well as planning what your budget would look like so you’re informed. Talking to a mortgage specialist will help you with mortgage math and the total costs of homeownership, while a realtor will help with finding listings suited to your needs and preferences. Buy: You’re not just buying a home, but likely a mortgage as well. This is a major financial milestone and, for many, this will be the largest investment of a lifetime. This is also the stage where expenses will start to ramp up, as the majority of buyers start making purchases before the move, so all the planning and budgeting you conducted will continue to be of the upmost importance. Once your purchase is confirmed, make sure you celebrate. Move: Transition is upon you. Relocating can be stressful, but also exciting. Getting organized and settled in your new space is an exciting time. Live: Time to love your new home. Whether it’s move-in ready or you’re planning a renovation, having strategically navigated the steps above will ensure you stay a happy homeowner. Find tips, tools and specialized offers to support you through all stages of the home buying process from RBC Homebuyers Advantage at www.rbc.com/homebuyeradvantage. Source: News Canada