4 Timely Tips For First Time Home Buyers

Written by  //  July 9, 2009  //  Home Buying  //  1 Comment

You’re in the market for your very first home – congratulations! Yet, you know that these are unusual times in which to buy a home with unemployment levels pushing to double digit figures in some areas of the country while home prices continue to slide. Like so many home shoppers, you’re probably entering the market with a healthy dose of trepidation.

home buyersA bit of trepidation can be a good thing, but don’t allow your fears stop you from buying a home if you can afford one.

To that end, SayEducate.com has compiled a short list of tips to help you find and buy your first home. Some of the tips include important deadlines so keep these in mind in order to ensure that you get the best deal on your home:

Comparison Shop – No doubt, you’ve been researching the market and have a decent handle on which houses are currently available and what home prices are today. In some markets home prices have tumbled by fifty percent or more, which means that doors of homeownership have flung open to more buyers. Visit a site such as Trulia.com to find homes that are under foreclosure, current listings, open houses and those with a recent price reduction.

Shop For A Loan – You may not have found the home you want yet, but now is a good time to get pre-qualified for a mortgage. Don’t confuse mortgage pre-qualification with home pre-qualification, the latter a tool many real estate agents use to gauge just how much home you can afford in order to direct you to homes in your price range. Though a good measuring tool, getting pre-qualified from a lender is preferable and means that you’re mortgage ready. Bring that mortgage approval letter with you when you find a home that you want as that may be all the ammunition you need to convince the seller that you’re a serious buyer.

Expiring Tax Credit – I put the emphasis on “expiring” to light a fuse under the feet of first time home buyers who should be eligible for a federal tax credit of $8000 which applies to purchases made between January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.  A tax credit (which doesn’t have to be repaid) shouldn’t be the driving reason to purchase a home, but it can certainly help your cause. Just remember if you wait too long this special window of opportunity will soon be slamming shut with no guarantee that Congress will extend it.

Prepare To Negotiate – In most markets across the US, the buyer is heavily favored with most home owners having little ground to stand on when it comes to maintaining their asking price. But, this doesn’t mean that every homeowner will be prepared to sell at a discount rate, given that most probably are listing their homes for far less than they would have a year ago. Still, if you know your local market and what homes have recently sold for, you may need to present evidence to the seller that their home is listed above the current market rate. Be prepared to negotiate the price down to a level that reflects today’s market realities.

Some local real estate markets have reached bottom and are well on their way to recovery while other markets still have a way to go. At some point the housing market will stabilize which means that for the buyer who took action at the right time, he could come up with the deal of his lifetime.

Adv. – Are you considering buying a home this year? If so, you may be eligible for an $8000 federal tax credit if you are a first time home buyer. Make you move now while prices are low and before mortgage rates start to climb. Please visit PickMyMortgage.com to learn more about the lending process and to review our free, handy financing tools.

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