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

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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 adds, they "might run into some bumps, but the end product is going to be a home they love."

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