Thing to consider when buying a house. 

For most, buying a home is the biggest purchase of a lifetime. No wonder the decision to become a full-fledged homeowner can sometimes feel overwhelming.

The good news is, if you take the time to do a little research, purchasing a home is likely to be a positive experience, with fewer surprises along the way. Here's how to make certain your leap to homeownership is in the right direction.

Think long term

While there are many benefits to owning a home, it's important to think longer term when you purchase a home. In fact, to really reap the rewards of homeownership, you should be prepared to stay in your house for some time. That's because the longer you own your home, the more equity you build in that home. This increases both your personal net worth and your financial security – with the added benefit of living in and enjoying your home while your equity grows.

Draw on expertise

Beyond your lifestyle priorities, you'll need to assess your finances to determine whether home ownership is an affordable option for you. That's where Scotiabank can help. Meeting with a Scotiabank representative can help you determine what kind of down payment and monthly payments you can afford, and he or she can also explain the various financing options. The representative will help you understand how a mortgage is structured and determine the financing package that best suits your needs.

Speaking with a realtor knowledgeable about the local real estate market will also help you make a better-informed decision. They have information on location, the current market, and availability of homes within your price range, the best time to buy, and other factors that will help make you comfortable with your decision.

When you base your decision to become a homeowner on a solid foundation of research and planning, you'll make a more informed decision and be better prepared to make the move to home ownership.

Want to own your own home but not be "house poor"? Read up on how to Be A Financially Savvy Homeowner and feel home free.