For those who are still trying to take advantage of the government’s tax credit program, time is of the essence! You only have until April 30th to have the property under contact, with a closing of June 30th.
NOT MUCH TIME!! Here are some things you should be doing NOW to make sure that you can make the deadline:
1. Find a REALTOR FAST: Our agents are know the market (#2) and know what is available in your market area. This will greatly reduce your time. Schedule an appointment with any of our agents so that they can understand your needs and review financing options and guide you through the process from beginning to end.
2. Get to Know Your Market: Buyers can do that using Internet sites that permit you to see the homes currently on the market, and by finding a good real estate agent who is ready to expedite the shopping process. More and more people are going to our website to do their searching, as it give current, up-to-the-minute information on all properties in a five county area of central PA. YOU can do the shopping, along with your professional and through our website, send them your “likes and dislikes” of homes.
2. Line Up Your Financing: Talk to a reputable lender right away and go through the pre-approval process. That will tell buyers quickly how much they can borrow. At today’s extremely low interest rates, that amount may be more than many buyers imagined. But either way, the process will help buyers determine how much they are willing and able to spend on the home. Our agents can help you with a list of reputable lenders in our area.
3. Start Narrowing Your Search: With the inventory of homes to choose from in the current market, buyers probably won’t have time to look at everything in their price range. By establishing specific criteria of the home they want, buyers can screen out homes that won’t fit their needs. Again, your real estate professional can assist with this and help you through this in the fastest time possible.
Think of how many bedrooms you will need. Bathrooms, land, area, school district and style of home all are important and will be asked by your REALTOR.
4.Separate Needs from Wants: Buyers can look at fewer homes if they can tell their agent what features the home they buy must have and what features would be nice but aren’t required. Start with the MUST HAVES and then tell him or her about your wants (not quite as important).
5. Consider Condition: In today’s market, many of the best values are foreclosed homes that aren’t in perfect condition. Buyers should decide up front if they are willing to tackle a home that needs work, and if so, how much.
Buyers often have a hard time articulating what they will accept when it comes to condition, “I’ll know it when I see it,” is a very common answer. But a dialog between you and your agent should sort out pretty quickly if you are “handy” and can do a lot of the work yourself, or if you will either need to hire someone to do it, or to steer clear of any of these types of homes.
Not ALL foreclosed property are in horrible condition, but many live up to their reputation.
6. Keep Things in Perspective: As nice as it may be to get the tax credit, don’t let the desire to do so completely control your home search. The RIGHT home will come up and you may just have to wait until later this spring to find it, after the deadline, and that OK. Buying the wrong home can end up costing you a lot more in the long run.
7. Leave Time to Handle Standard Contingencies: The typical purchase contract may have several contingency clauses, for such things as a home inspection, obtaining financing and even the sale of the buyer’s current residence. Fortunately, standard contingencies in a contract won’t prevent it from qualifying for the tax credit, if you get it signed by April 30th. All of these contingencies are very important.
The more contingencies that you have in the contract means the greater chance that it won’t close in time.
8. Be Careful of Short Sales: If the home you want to buy is offered as a short sale, qualifying for the tax credit may become more difficult. Short sales normally require much more time than you have, so avoid them right now, if you can. I’ll write more about what a short sale is in on another day.
As you can see NOW is the time to call your professionals at ERA Coup Agency and get started immediately. It isn’t too late yet, but it is getting very close to when it will be. HURRY!!!