10 Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Home

Owning a home has long been a part of the American dream. But is it the right move for you right now? ©iStock/Thinkstock

You've landed your dream job and dreamier spouse/partner/whatever. Suddenly, you find yourself thinking about putting down roots, moving out of your noisy apartment and buying a house. Slow down just a bit. It's a huge step. Taking on a house usually means an increase in your monthly outlay for mortgage, utilities and maintenance, plus a time commitment for keeping the yard in shape.

Still, it's the American dream -- to go along with the job and spouse. Before you find yourself mired in a nightmare, read through our list of things to keep in mind to help make the dream that much sweeter.