Sunday, May 24, 2009

It is time to buy? Why Buy Now? So you’re thinking about buying or selling a home? You’re not alone. It’s a big decision that can be a confusing, exciting, frustrating and (hopefully) a rewarding process. The great thing about our housing market is the variety of types of homes. From downtown condos to single family homes, no matter who you are, your lifestyle or your particular needs, there’s a home out there for you. Interest Rates are Near All-Time Lows: For buyers with good credit, there are plenty of mortgage options available. You don’t necessarily need 20% down payment to get into a home and you don’t need perfect credit. Recent Changes to Conventional Loan Limits: The bottom line is some mortgages that would have been considered jumbo loans (typically with higher interest rates, bigger down payments and tougher qualifications) are now conventional loans. This means you have more options in terms of a house that you can afford. It's a Buyers Market: In the Seattle area, we now have about a nine-month inventory of new homes available for sale. This compares to a year’s worth of inventory in Oregon, two years worth of inventory in Atlanta and a staggering four-year inventory in the hardest hit areas like California and Arizona. What this means is if you buy a home now and plan to stay in it for several years, that new home will increase in value and be a good investment. More Inventory Means Better Selection Not only is the inventory excellent but some of the best deals in the market are New Construction Homes, Distressed Property Sales, Pre-Foreclosure Sales, Auctions and Bank Owned Property. First Time Buyer, Tax Credit:
  • Provides a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the sale price of the home, up to an $8,000 maximum. Is a true tax credit. It does not need to be repaid, unless the home owner sells the home within three years of the purchase.
  • Keep in mind that this opportunity won’t be around forever. You have to buy your home on or before November 30, 2009.
Home Values Have Dropped Home values have rolled back to 2004 prices in most markets. Between lower home cost and record low mortgages rates home are very affordable. Buying a Home is a Smart Financial Move Home ownership offers numerous important benefits. Mortgage interest is tax deductible, and you may be able to borrow against your home equity if needed. Bottom Line Do not let fear and uncertainty rule. If you have a desire or need to purchase a home and plan on being in that home for at least several years you may well look back with that 20-20 hindsight and pat yourself on the back for making a very timely decision. On the other hand, if you are not in a position to stay the coarse you may do well sitting out this ‘correction’.

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