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5 Signs That You’re Ready to Buy a First Home

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By Marcie Geffner

SAVE UP: Saving a sizable nest egg is another important milestone for would-be homebuyers, says Ken Pozek, a REALTOR® in Northville, Mich.

That’s because you’ll need savings not only for your down payment, but also your emergency fund, moving expenses and home maintenance costs.

“A lot of people forget that there is a lot of maintenance with owning a home, especially if you’ve been used to renting. From a financial perspective, (it’s important to) make sure that even if you’re emotionally ready or excited to buy, that you have nest eggs set up as well,” Pozek says.

Examples of home maintenance chores include mowing lawns; trimming trees and hedges; shoveling snow; exterminating termites, rats or other pests; clearing out rain gutters; cleaning major appliances; and washing windows, walls and doors.

Even if you do a lot of the work yourself, you’ll still need to buy supplies and equipment.

GET REAL: First-time buyers often believe buying a home will be easy. Giving up that misconception and being realistic about the time, effort, money, stress and hassle involved is an important step toward being ready to move forward.

“Most first-timers think buying will be a perfect scenario where it all happens like it does on HGTV. They see three houses. They pick one, and it all works out beautifully,” Pozek says. “That never happens, unfortunately.”

Instead, prospective buyers who are successful understand that, as Pozek added, they “might run into some bumps, but the end product is going to be a home they love.”

Marcie Geffner writes about housing and mortgages at Bankrate.com.

©2014 Bankrate.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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