The two most frequently asked questions I am getting these days are: 1) Is there still time left to get a home and qualify for the first time home buyer’s 8,000-dollar credit? 2) Will the government extend the first time home buyer’s tax credit?
First things first: yes, there is still time left to get qualified and find a home but you need to move NOW. Have a discussion with a lender as soon as possible about your credit, down payment, or down payment assistance and how much you qualify for. Then get out with a realtor and start looking for a home, condo, or townhome. This may take a little while because in the final 60 days of this tax credit, we expect to see a lot of people trying to buy a home. That means that there might be more people vying for the same home than you would normally see at this time of the year. Most transactions take at least 30 days to close. That means that you need to be under contract with a property no later than November 1st.Â If I were a first time home buyer, I would take the first two weeks of October to get my lending situation in order. I would find a good realtor no later than mid-October. Take the final two weeks or less to find a home and make a solid offer on a home that could be accepted by November 1st.
Our second question is, “Will the government extend the tax credit?” The National Association of Realtors has been working hard on this with Washington lawmakers for many months now. My guess is that Congress will approve a second home buyer tax credit, but in what form is any body’s guess. Some say that they will merely extend the $8,000 credit we have today for first time home buyers. Some say that the $8,000 will be for any buyer and others think that the tax credit may even go as high as $15,000.
With that said, DO NOT WAIT! One thing we know for sure is that Congress is unpredictable at best. If you are counting on them to make a better deal for you to buy a home, you are gambling with the odds not in your favor.
Dan Polimino is a Realtor with Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty. He can be reached at DPolimino@fullerproperties.com and www.coloradodreamhouse.com/denverpost