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A nice couple holds up a house of Popsicle sticksBuying your first home is an enormous investment, and a very big stepping point towards life changes. In truth, most home buyers even realize how much changes when you purchase your first home. Because of this importance, every step towards your first home purchase should be taken carefully and wisely. Nonetheless, there are huge benefits towards owning a home, rather than renting, such as your capital actually going into something that you own, rather than disappearing over the course of your lease rental. Here are some important things to know about buying your first house…

Check to see if you qualify for any special loans

Before you start applying for a loan from a bank, or even before you start shopping for houses, it’s a good idea to see if you qualify for any special loans that are offered by the state or federal government. For example, if you served, or are currently serving, in the armed forces, you might qualify for a VA loan, which offers favorable terms to our servicemembers. Another type of specialty loan is the FHA loan, which is insured by the federal government. This allows lower-income families to get a loan with favorable interest terms with a relatively smaller down payment.

Consult your real estate agent about a bidding strategy

You need to get on the same page with your real estate agent about your bidding strategy, early in the process. A real estate agent will have useful tricks that can help you get more home for less money. For example, you can set up a deal to match any offer that outbids you by $1,000 up to a certain maximum amount, but also make your initial offer relatively low. This prevents you from getting outbid, early on, while also potentially setting up a lower price than you expected.

Get to know the HOA rules

The HOA rules of a specific neighborhood could be a make or break factor into whether or not a home is worth purchasing, for some people. A decent HOA will work well to keep everyone in the neighborhood happy, while also raising the property value of everyone’s homes, through guidelines that keep the neighborhood looking aesthetically pleasing and up to code. However, a HOA can also make life incredibly difficult by putting too many restrictions on inhabitants of the neighborhood, or slipping in hidden fees. Do a substantial amount of research about the local HOA before settling on a specific home.