Q. I am soon to be a first-time homebuyer and I am anticipating my ownership eagerly. Is there any advice that you can give me?

A. My first response to your question is congratulations and enjoy every moment of your new found freedom. A huge fraction of the population in most countries other than Canada never own their own home. It is a process towards economic freedom and pride in ownership of a place you can call home and potentially raise a family (if that is in your plans).

Home ownership is complex but let’s break it down for you:

1. Mortgage — you probably have to borrow money to set yourself up in a new home but you should be aware that interest rates are the lowest they have been in years. If you have been attending to your FICO score (your credit rating) you can get some great variable rates that you can lock in at any time. The time is upon us to buy because the interest rates are at an all time low.

2. You should always have your new house inspected by a qualified home inspector so that you have no surprises after your first summer when all the drains freeze up.

3. You should be prepared to insure your house for fire and other pitfalls. Your bank will demand it and you will have the confidence that your asset is protected.

4. Treat your new home with love and care. It will balance you. It will assure you at the end of a long working day and it will partially characterize who you are and what you are working to be.

5. Use a real estate agent to help you find your new home. However maligned they may be by others, they are trained to find you a suitable nesting ground and your money is well spent on their expertise and advice.

Buying a home (especially for the first time) should be a joyful experience. But, expect small bumps along the way.