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What to consider if you're thinking of buying your first home.

White picket fence, lush green backyard, a pastel-painted nursery waiting for a new arrival - homeownership can help make these dreams a reality. But, how can you know when you're ready to become a first-time homeowner?

From what's in your wallet to major life milestones, here are four signs to look for that might let you know it's time to start looking for your first home.

You know the costs and can afford them.

When considering whether to purchase a home, you want to make sure you have a clear idea of the costs homeownership entails. Start by researching home prices in your city. Next, use a mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly expenses depending on your down payment and the interest rates offered by your credit union. Don't forget to factor in maintenance and repair costs, homeowner's insurance and property taxes. Taking a look at the big picture of costs can help you figure out exactly how much home you can afford to buy.

You've saved up a down payment.

Is it time to stop renting and buy a home?

Speaking of down payments, having a home-specific savings set aside is a strong signal you might be ready to become a homeowner. And while down payment amounts will vary case-by-case, there is one common and incredibly important fact to always keep in mind - your home's down payment shouldn't come from your emergency savings or your retirement fund.

Need help getting started? You can supercharge your savings by using an account designed for first-time homebuyers like you, such as the FAIRWINDS My First Home Savings Account.

You understand the responsibilities.

Owning a home is a big responsibility. Maintenance costs, including repairs, new floors, painting, upgrades and more, can make an impact on your wallet. But, the rewards that come with homeownership are also worth noting.

You want to settle down.

Whether you're a newlywed or ready to stop renting, buying a home means putting down roots. If your city or town feels like home, and you think it will for the next few years, settling down in a home to call your own can provide stability, not to mention value.

Whether you're ready to start looking for your ideal home or found the perfect place and need help making it yours, call us at 407.206.8125 or make an appointment with a mortgage specialist at your nearest branch.

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