Monday, September 7, 2009

Too late for $8000? First Time Home Buyers Scramble!

First Time Home Buyers
may be too late for $8000 
The Government Real Estate Stimulus Package, first time home buyers tax credit of $8000 is scheduled to be gone on Dec 1st, 2009. A first time home buyer is someone who has not owned a home in the last 3 years. See the details:,,id=204671,00.html

Will the government extend this program? Do you want to take this risk when many are saying we are past the worst in the Real Estate market?

December 1st seems like a long way away, and it is, except in home buying terms.

With the changes in lending and appraisal, getting an escrow completed in 30 days can be very difficult. Many are taking 45 days to fund and close. That means we should be in escrow by October 15th. Preferably earlier if we find any inspection or appraisal problems and have to find another home to buy.

Here are the 7 things you have to do to make this happen for you.

1 Loan Approval – The first step and one of the most important. If your offer is to be accepted above the others, you must present the best likelihood to close. You will have to have a strong approval letter from a lender and documentation to back it up like proof of liquid funds and a copy of your credit report.

2 Watch the clock. You have about 5 weeks from Sept., 8th 2009 to get your offer accepted and you may have to write 5 to 10 or more offers just to get one accepted.

3 Be aware of the competition. Finding a home can be a challenge in this marketplace. The homes that you are looking for are the same as most other first time buyers are looking for. Competition is very high and will be even higher as the deadline nears. We are seeing multiple offers on all reasonable priced homes and on many homes that are over priced. Five to ten offers is normal and I have been in competition with more than 30 offers on some homes.

4 Know the market. Be ready to look at the lists you receive and be ready to write an offer immediately. That means you need to know what you are willing to accept for your first home. We will need to meet, discuss your needs and wants then see how they match up to the properties and prices that are currently available.

5 Be flexible and be realistic. Remember, this is your first home, not your only one. Maybe you can remodel or add on later, or convert it to a rental sooner than you planned.

6 Keep your credit in top condition by not opening new accounts, not closing old ones and keeping ALL the balances below 40% of your credit limit on each account at all times. The lender usually pulls another credit report near the end of the transaction.

7 Avoid Short Sales that are not approved, unless they have been Pending or Contingent for at least a month and preferably much longer. Consider these only as a last resort. Banks have been known to change their minds or even foreclose while in escrow on a short sale.

Call me at 760-436-0087 if you are a first time home buyer and want to get the $8000 tax credit while it is still here.

Dennis Smith, ABR, SRES, e-PRO, CDPE, Realtor® DRE# 00476662
Certified Distressed Property Expert
Taylor Place Real Estate
Buy or Sell a Home with Me, Use my Moving Truck - F R E E for life.
760-436-0087, or cell at 760-212-8225

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