Three signs you’re more prepared than you think to buy a home

No doubt about it—buying a home is a big investment. You’re on the hook for a long-term mortgage, and responsible for repairs and any other unforeseen expenses.

But don’t get discouraged just yet. If you have strong money management skills (and cash saved up), you may be ready for homeownership. Here are three signs that you’re ready:

1. You have a healthy savings account

Obviously, you need to have enough cash to cover your down payment, but you also want a cushion for additional costs. The initial price is never the final total. Plan on closing costs adding up to 5% to your budget. And if you’re a first-time buyer, it’s also a good idea to stay prepared for unexpected costs.

2. You have good credit

When it comes to buying a home, your credit score will have a big impact.. In addition to determining whether or not you get a loan, your score will affect your interest rate (low scores mean higher interest, and vice versa). If it’s not high enough to get a good deal, take some time to build it.

3. You’re mindful of your budget

Taking on a mortgage will likely increase your monthly expenses. Are you financially prepared? Unless you’re due for a windfall, you’ll have to re-organize your budget. If you want to make sure that your finances are in the best possible shape, contact a financial counselor for helpful pre-purchase advice.

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