While house hunting is super fun and exciting, a lot of thought also needs to go into the decision, which can make it quite stressful. A house is probably one of the most significant purchases you will ever make (if not the biggest), and you don’t want to make a choice that you’ll regret later on.

If you’re in the market to buy a home, here are the top four most important considerations you need to make. Before you start hunting, sit down with your partner or family (or just yourself, if you’re making the purchase alone) and ensure you’re clear on these four factors.

Your Finances

Of course, the most important thing you need to consider here is your budget and how you will pay for the house. You need to know what you’ll really be able to spend monthly on a mortgage, home maintenance and other smaller factors like home insurance, legal fees, and even moving costs.

When you’re deciding how to pay for your home, remember that not all sellers will be willing to accept an FHA offer, and this is something you’ll need to consider when it comes to your priorities and financial capability.

Your Preferences

Next, it’s good to have at least a rough idea of what you’re looking for before you enter the market and start talking to realtors. Think about the styles of homes you like, the amount of space you want, how many rooms you need, whether or not you need a backyard, parking space required and other factors like this.

Spend some time looking at available options online, what catches your eye and what these types of homes cost on average. You’ll be able to make a list of non-negotiable features and some nice-to-haves that you can refer to when viewing potential homes.

The Location

We all know that realtor says: location, location, location. As cliché as it sounds, choosing the right location is crucial when buying a home or any type of property.

You’ll want to ensure you’re happy with the area and its surroundings. Make sure you’re close enough to work, schools, stores and restaurants that you like. Look around for parks and other points of interest in the area, and get a feel for what the people are like and how safe it is there.

Your Long-Term Plans

Finally, when you’re buying a home, you need to be looking toward the future instead of just thinking about your lifestyle in the present.

For example, consider whether you’re considering starting a family in the next few years or growing your family. Children and pets have different needs regarding a place to live, so this should influence your decision. Also, consider whether you’re buying the home to live in forever or if you’d prefer to fix it up and resell it in a few years. All these factors will impact what you buy and how much you spend.