real estate

Buying your 1st home? 5 signs you're ready

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Ready, set, flexible
Ready, set, flexible © Lucky Business/Shutterstock.com

Timing is another crucial element in homebuyer readiness, says Amy Butterworth, an associate broker for Gibson Sotheby's International Realty in Boston.

A time frame that's too long doesn't make sense. But neither does a time frame that's too short. For example, if your lease doesn't expire for many months or you need to move within 30 days, buying a home might not be practical for you right now, Butterworth says.

The ideal situation is to be ready to buy and able to wait, especially if your housing market is a hotbed of multiple offers.

"There's no place in the market for a buyer who's hesitant and back on their toes," Butterworth says. "But they can't only be ready and raring to go because there will be disappointments -- that's just how the market is right now. You have to go into it with realistic expectations."

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