This is the Last Week!
You must have a home under contract by April 30th (this Friday) to qualify for the First-Time Homebuyer or Repeat Buyer Tax Credits. Most industry experts agree, the chance these credits will be extended or reinstated is slim.
In addition to the credits expiring this week there are other reasons to act now!
Trends that we expect to see in the rest of 2010 include:
- Continued rise in home prices in Northern Colorado
- Most likely a rise in interest rates
- Tougher restrictions for borrowers
Time is almost up!
The First-Time Homebuyer & Repeat Buyer tax credits end April 30th!
There is no indication that these credits will be extended for a second time. The time to act is now. If you qualify for either the First-Time or Repeat Buyer tax credits, you must be under contract by April 30th (closing by June 30th).
Act fast - This could be your last chance to get in on these tax credits...and the still historically low interest rates available!
estate agents, will be participating in the National
Association of Realtors® Open House Day!
April 10th & 11th
April 10th for more open houses.
Why should you get a home inspection?
For most people, buying a home will be the single largest, and most expensive, purchase they will make. No one wants to move in to find surprises and unexpected problems.
A home inspection can identify problems before you close on a home and give you the knowledge to help you make decisions and take action. Most homebuyers agree, a home inspection is some of the best money they have spent.
Inspection vs. Appraisal. An appraisal is not the same as a home inspection. An appraisal is to determine the market value of a home, a home inspection is an inspection of the physical condition of the home.
Inspection Contingency. When making an offer, include an inspection contingency. If problems should arise from the inspection, you will have options for how you want to proceed.
Independent Inspector. Find a qualified, trusted, professional home inspector. Ask around for referrals and/or contact a professional home inspector organization or your state regulatory department.
Inspection Report. Your inspector will provide you with an inspection report. They will point out any problems they found (major and minor) and make suggestions.
Problems. If problems are found during the inspection, you will have the knowledge to make a decision on how to proceed.
Bottom Line. Before buying a home, get an inspection so you can make a wise decision. Even if the inspector finds no problems, most people would agree that the peace of mind is well worth the price!
The First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit & Repeat Buyer Tax Credit end soon!
Both tax credits are set to expire June 30, 2010 (the signed contract must be in place on or before April 30th). At this time, it is highly unlikely that these credits will be extended again. If you want to take advantage of the $8000 First-Time or $6500 Repeat Buyer credits, you have to act now!
1. Speak with a lender. Find out what you qualify for.
- The lending process can take longer now that it did a few years ago, your lender may need more time and more information to get your loan approved.
2. Find a Realtor®.
- Click here to view our agents' profiles.
3. Start looking.
- Your Realtor will help you find homes that fit your needs and budget. Some times the process happens quickly, some times it may take longer to find the right home.
4. Make an offer.
- You and your Realtor® will submit an offer to the seller. Keep in mind, if you are making an offer on a short sale or foreclosure, getting a response can be a lengthy process.
5. Close by June 30th.
- If the offer is accepted get ready to close. You must have a signed contract by April 30th and close no later than June 30th!
6. Speak with a tax professional.
- You may be able to file the credit with your 2009 tax return. Speak with a tax expert about your specific situation.
Both credits expire
April 30th 2010!
Many potential buyers are waiting for the "perfect time" to buy a house. They want the rock bottom lowest price, the best interest rates, tax incentives, seller paid closing cost, and on and on. There are some fantastic deals to be had...but, if you are waiting for the "perfect" storm, you may miss the boat!
History shows that the still historically low interest rates (currently ranging between 4.5-5% in the Northern Colorado area) are very likely to rise. Interest rates took nearly two decades to reach these levels and once they begin to go back up, we don't expect them to come back down quickly.
Many buyers focus a lot of their attention on price. While that is an extremely important part of the decision to buy, buyers really should focus some of their time on the big picture. Generally, a buyer will have their home for many years and they will be paying interest over that entire period. How much more will your home cost if rates increase .5% or 1% or more?
In addition, if a buyer is nervous and waits to buy, they could very well miss out on currently low home prices (see our Real Estate Statistics - overall, values are starting to increase) and on selection. Remember, inventory is down 20-30% from last year in much of Northern Colorado!
Times can feel unsure or even scary. But if you are financially stable and considering buying a home, there really couldn't be a better time. Rates are low, prices are low and there are incentives available at nearly every turn!
Check out the Business Week article "If You Don't Buy a House Now, You're Stupid or Broke" for more Mortgage Rate information.
The newly expanded tax credit for current homeowners has raised some questions for our clients. See below for a list of some common questions and their answers:
1. Who qualifies for the $6500 Current Homeowner (Repeat Buyer) Credit?
- Homeowners who have lived in their homes for at least 5 consecutive years of the last 8 years (or longer).
2. What if we have not lived in the home for 5 consecutive years?
- You do not qualify for this tax credit. The credit is intended for "long-time" residents to have the opportunity "move-up" or get into a home that is more comfortable for their situation. The idea is that the credit will help stimulate the housing market by bringing out more buyers.
3. Do I have to buy a more expensive home?
- No. Any home qualifies as long as it will be your primary residence and it does not exceed the $800,000 limit.
4. Can I buy any kind of home and receive the credit?
- Yes! Any home under $800,000 that will be used as your primary residence qualifies.
Please visit our Buyers page for additional tax credit information and resources to help answer you questions.
Quick Stats - Greeley & Evans
The Greeley/Evans area has a large inventory of very affordable housing. Currently, 17% of all the single-family homes listed are available for under $100,000. Of the more than 500 homes for sale, 13% are available for between $100,000 and $120,000!
*Don't forget about the first-time homebuyers credit in
addition to these great deals!*
Homes under $120,000 represent nearly a third of homes for sale in Greeley/Evans. This may be a great opportunity for a first-time homebuyer to find their perfect home or even a great time for investors!
*Source: Ires Statistics October 2009
1. What’s the minimum down payment I need to buy a home?
FHA (not just for first time home buyers) has programs that would allow you to purchase a home for as little as 3.5% down. And, there are even some programs (CHFA) that would allow you to purchase with just $1,000!
2. Are home values increasing?
The median sales price in the Greeley/Evans area has been increasing since the beginning of 2009. While we don’t have a crystal ball, we think we may have reached the bottom of the market.
3. What should I do if I have bad credit? Can I still buy a home?
The answer to this question is somewhat tricky as there are a lot of factors that go into qualifying for a loan. However, reputable lenders we have recently spoken with have told us that they can approve individuals with credit scores as low as 580. Contact any one of our agents and they can provide you with the name a reputable lender.
4. I’ve heard there are some great deals on homes. Can I offer 50% of the list price and get the home?
There are some great deals on properties. Generally, however, we are seeing properties sell relatively close to their listing price. The Multiple listing service shows the average home sold for 97.21% of the last price is was listed for in the past 12 months. In fact, agents in our office have reported a higher number of “multiple offers” on homes that are going under-contract. This competition tends to drive prices up (good for sellers) and creates auction-like bidding through the contract process for buyers. While this can sometimes be frustrating for buyers, it is helpful to understand that making your “highest and best” offer when you enter into the contract process may ensure your best option of securing the home.
1. I can get a better deal on a foreclosure property than a regular resale home.
While there are still plenty of opportunities on foreclosure properties, oftentimes these homes are “distressed.” This means there may be some considerations to weigh before purchasing a home owned by a bank that has been through the foreclosure process.
For example, many foreclosure properties are sold in “as-is” condition and need considerable work done on them before buyers can move in to the property. Additionally, bank owned properties are typically priced competitively and sell for 3% above the listing price. If you are looking at a short-sale property (not yet through the foreclosure process), be prepared to wait several months before the bank approves or responds to your offer.
2. I should wait until the market is at it’s lowest point before I purchase.
It is impossible to precisely predict when the market is at it’s lowest point. In fact, several statistics in the Greeley market area seem to indicate that we may have hit the bottom of the market and are on the way to a more stable or appreciating market.
Consider that in the first 4 months of 2009, detached home sales in the Greeley/Evans area were 466 vs. 427 the previous year. Greeley was one of the only areas in Northern Colorado to increase in detached sales from 2007 to 2008! I’m watching these trends as closely as you are...call me if you’d like more information about what the market is doing.
3. You can’t buy a home unless you have perfect credit and 20% down.
Not true. FHA loans are some of the most popular loans in the Weld County area because they only require 3.5% in down payment funds from the buyer and they allow the seller to contribute funds towards the buyer’s closing costs. Additionally, FHA loans allow for buyers with limited or less-than-perfect credit to purchase a home. FHA loans are also available for individuals who have owned property previously as well as first-time homebuyers.
Interest rates are at extreme lows and they won’t last forever. You can obtain a 30-year fixed rate mortgage on an FHA loan for under 5.0%! If you’d like to talk to a reputable lender about what you might qualify, give me a call...it can be done over the phone and only takes about 20 minutes.