Nothing says, “Welcome to Adulthood” like buying a home. You’re taking on very real responsibilities, but you may not realize how far they reach and impact others. Meeting them will reward you and your family for years to come with more equity, happier neighbors and a better living environment for your family.

Financial responsibilities:Paying your mortgage on time helps you build better credit and gets you lower interest rates if you refinance or make a new purchase loan some day. Now’s not the time to get overextended with new furniture, remodeling or other debt.

Limit the credit you actively use and pay off balances every month. Don’t add new charges until you’ve paid off your balances. Try to save as much as you comfortably can with the goal to build at least six months of cash so you can make your house payments if you become ill, lose your job or face an emergency.

Neighborhood responsibilities: When you buy a home, your household becomes part of the neighborhood. Protect your investment and that of your neighbors by keeping your lawn and trees trimmed, your home freshly painted and repaired, and toys and trash picked up from the yard.

Household responsibilities:Your home should help make you and your loved ones safer and happier. Don’t take on more house than you can comfortably afford. Try to choose the best home that suits the needs of your household without creating anxiety between you and your spouse over monthly bills.

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