OK, now that I have you excited about the Homebuyer Tax Credit and you have realized the value of this program, I want to give you a simple checklist that will make your life easier.
- NO PROCRASTINATING – Call your Realtor® pronto. Start looking now. There is nothing worse than trying to make a last-minute decision under pressure because it’s almost April 30, 2010 (the deadline to be under contract). There are fewer buyers looking at homes in January and February than there will be in the Spring. Believe me when I say less competition is to your advantage. If you have a home to sell, get it on the market and price it aggressively. They are “deals” to be had in the Boulder CO real estate market right now.
- PRE-APPROVAL FOR A LOAN is an absolute necessity. Call a mortgage broker and get a realistic assessment of what you can afford. Mortgage interest rates are the best they’ve been in 40 years. You might be pleasantly surprised as to how much home you can buy. Average rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage have been hovering around 5%. Experts agree that interest rates will most likely rise next year. Higher rates will affect your monthly mortgage payments, thereby lowering the price of home you can afford.
- BE PUNCTUAL & ALERT! Keep all lines of communication open with your Realtor® and your Lender. If your Lender asks for a piece of documentation, get it turned in as quickly as humanly possible. Return phone calls and e-mails promptly. You don’t want anything to delay the closing date.
- STAY AWAY FROM SHORT SALES - If you want to meet the closing deadline of June 30, 2010 and get your $8000 tax credit, time is of the essence. Definition: a short sale is where a homeowner sells their home for less than what he or she owes on their mortgage, with their lender’s permission. It might look appealing to you as the buyer, but it can be a lengthy process and also complicated.
- DON'T COUNT ON ANOTHER EXTENSION – The tax credit won’t be available forever. We were lucky Congress saw fit to extend it past November 30, 2009. According to Eddie Fadel, a Miami-based mortgage banker, “This is a medication for the housing crisis. Once the patient, which is the housing market, cures, there will be no medication needed.”
I do believe the economy is getting healthier and I am increasingly optimistic as this old year draws to a close. Happy Holidays!