Are you trying to decide if it is the right time to buy a house? Maybe you feel like everyone you know has started looking. Maybe you like the real estate market in your area. Maybe you have just grown tired of renting.

One key thing to remember is that the right age to buy a home is different for everyone. It depends on far more than age alone. You have to consider your income, your debt, the stability of your job, the real estate options in the area, what your family needs and all of the nonfinancial details of homeownership.

That said, researchers have put the average age for someone to buy their first home in the United States at 33 years old. If you’re around that age and starting to feel like it may be ideal to buy, that could be the reason. You’re in the season of your life where most people consider this large, important purchase.

If you do start looking, you need to carefully consider every part of the process. What are the must-haves that you want in a home? What are red flags to look out for? What types of contracts do you need to sign? What rights and obligations do you have? What should you expect from your mortgage lender, your home inspector, your real estate agent and the other seller?

As you work your way through things and get closer to your first home, make sure you answer all of these questions and that you understand exactly what legal options you have.