Whether you’re a first-time buyer or are looking to downsize from a family home, there’s plenty of benefits to buying on your own. No matter what stage in life you’re at, there’s no better way to approach homeownership than learning as much as you can about the process.

Here’s what you should know before buying a home on your own.

Make sure you’re financially ready

As the sole owner of a property, you might feel a bit more pressure when it comes to finances. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be one of the first things you do to prepare yourself. Meeting with a mortgage specialist will help you establish a budget, see what type of mortgage works best for you, and set you on the right track to responsible homeownership.

Build an emergency fund

I know, we just went over finances–but the costs of homeownership include much more than just a down payment and mortgage. If you haven’t already, start setting aside money for surprise costs that might pop up, whether that means renovations, upgrading appliances, landscaping, or damages.

Establish a realistic wish list

Okay, let’s talk about more than just paint colours and backsplashes. Do you like to lounge outside with a book and glass of wine? Do you want the convenience of a gym inside of a condo building? Think about how you live your day-to-day life and the type of property that would best accommodate that. Remember: you can always replace the flooring or upgrade the appliances. But location, square footage, and accessibility aren’t so easy to change.

Don’t go at it alone

Just because you’re buying on your own, doesn’t mean you should house hunt on your own! Bring along a trusted friend or family member to see properties with you so you can get another point of view. When we work together, I’ll also be there to show you the pros, cons, and notable features or issues of each home to give you an expert’s insight.