how do you know when your financially ready to buy a home?

right now we are renting an aprtment and are barely getting by. but i have been looking around online at houses and loans and we could buy a pretty nice house and the monthly payment would be around the amount we are paying for rent. in my mind that makes me think we should start thing about buying becuase for the same amount we could be owning something. am i thinking wrong? what other things do i need to consider?

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